August existing home sales were unchanged after a four-month decrease. Prices increased again, as they have for 6 and a half years. The pace of sales was a couple of days slower than it was in July, but homes are still selling quickly, with days on the market below 30. Regional variations in sales show that the Northeast and Midwest were the hottest markets; however, overall inventory is flat. Basically, the August 2018 Housing Market: Sales Hold Steady With Regional Variations. New month, same story.
August existing home sales mirrored July, and were 1.5 percent lower than August 2017, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) August Existing Home Sales Report, released September 20th.
Inventory was unchanged from July to August, but did increase year-over-year. At the current sales pace, the supply of unsold inventory was 4.3 months, up slightly from 4.1 months a year ago.
Home prices continued to increase year-over-year. The median price of existing homes sold in August was $264,800, an increase of 4.6 percent from August 2017 ($253,100). We’ve now reached 78 consecutive months of year-over-year increases.
Days on the market (DOM) were up from July, moving from 27 to 29. A year ago, homes typically stayed on the market for 30 days, so the sales pace has increased slightly year-over-year.
According to NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun, “While inventory continues to show modest year over year gains, it is still far from a healthy level and new home construction is not keeping up to satisfy demand,” said Yun. “Homes continue to fly off the shelves with a majority of properties selling within a month, indicating that more inventory – especially moderately priced, entry-level homes – would propel sales.”
Regional variations. The Northeast was the winner in home sales, rising 7.6 percent from July, but still 2.7 percent lower than August 2017. The Midwest came in second, with a 2.4 percent increase and only a modest 0.8 percent drop from a year ago. These increases were offset by month-to-month decreases in sales in the South (0.4 percent) and the West (5.9 percent). Prices rose year-over-year in every region, up 4.8 percent in the West, 3.4 percent in the Midwest, 3.2 percent in the South, and 2.6 percent in the Northeast. Midland, TX remained at the top of the hottest metro areas list (measured by days on the market/listing views per property). The rest of the Top 10 are Fort Wayne, IN; San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA; Columbus, OH; Boise City, ID; Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV; Racine, WI; Janesville-Beloit, WI; Colorado Springs, CO; and Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI.
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