September Home Sales Increase, Rounding Out Peak Selling Season

September home sales rose 8.1% year-over-year – the largest year-over-year increase since November 2016, according to data in this month’s RE/MAX National Housing Report. While inventory remains constricted, this news was especially welcome from buyers and sellers alike as September 2018 numbers painted a different story, with a substantial drop in home sales, the previous year.

“It was encouraging to see the improvement in September home sales, especially given how tough last September’s results were,” said RE/MAX Holdings CEO Adam Contos. “The market still poses some challenges for buyers – framed by rising prices and shrinking inventory – but we’re moving into the fourth quarter on much better footing than we had a year ago.”

Home Sales Up

Home sales increased in 47 of the report’s 54 markets, and the year-over-year increase in September 2019 sales was the largest September increase since 2013. Leading the year-over-year sales percentage increases were Los Angeles, CA at +31.4%, Little Rock, AR at +24.2%, and Tulsa, OK at +22.1%.

Median Sales Price Steadily Rises

While September’s Median Sales Price increased by 4.5% year-over-year to $245,500, the increase was in line with the year-over-year average gain of 4.9% for 2019’s first nine months. Five metro areas increased year-over-year by double-digit percentages, with the largest increases seen in Detroit, MI at +15.6%, Birmingham, AL at +15.3%, and Charlotte, NC at +11.8%. Two metro areas saw a year-over-year decrease in Median Sales Price – San Francisco, CA at -2.1%, and Billings, MT at -0.5%.

Inventory Remains Constricted

For all but two of the 54 metro areas surveyed in September 2019, the seller’s market persists. The number of homes for sale decreased and months supply of inventory shrunk to 3.2 compared to 4.2 in September 2018. Only Miami, FL at 7.5 and New York, NY at 6.3 reported a months supply at or over 6, which is typically considered a buyer’s market.

“As we begin to lap the end of last year and its persistent sales declines, the housing market’s momentum increases the chances of seeing more months of strong year-over-year gains in sales,” added Contos.

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