Home Sales Decline 1% as Inventory, Prices Level Out
The RE/MAX National Housing Report for August 2018 shows increasing home prices, low inventory and a reduction in days on market. These combined factors made August 2018 the sixth time this year that home sales lagged behind last year’s pace—but only slightly at -1.1%. To access the housing report infographic, visit: https://rem.ax/2phKHWT
Home prices rose by 3.7% over August 2017, much lower than the year-over-year price increase of 5.4% from August 2016 to August 2017. In fact, the past three months of 2018 have trailed 2017’s rate of price growth year-over-year—compare that to four of the first five months of 2018 when year-over-year price increases easily topped those posted in 2017.
The Median Sales Price of $248,500 marked the 29th consecutive month of year-over-year price increases.
Even though active inventory dropped for the 118th consecutive month, the decline of 5.4% from August 2017 marked the smallest year-over-year decrease since August 2014. In addition, the August 2018 inventory drop marked the fourth consecutive month in 2018 to post single-digit percent declines, rather than the double-digit monthly drops consistently seen in early 2018 and over the previous three years.
“It varies by market, but we’re hearing that buyers are being more selective and sellers are becoming more pragmatic,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “That dynamic could bring inventory levels up, especially in the most overheated markets, where we expect to see the clearest signs of equilibrium returning. The economy is strong and potential buyers are out there—they just need more listings, at the right price points, to consider. We believe that balance will return, which will be good for everyone in the long run. It’s just a matter of when.”
Contos added that although the lack of inventory continues to be a challenge, the trends suggest that the market finally appears to be rebalancing. “The moderation we are experiencing seems to be a bit more than the normal seasonal lull we’d expect this time of year,” said Contos.
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