Our October 2018 Housing Market Recap shows existing home sales rose nationally for the first time in 6 months. Sales increased in 3 of the 4 US regions, with only the Midwest dropping slightly. Prices continued their steady climb, as they have for well over 6 years. The pace of sales was slower than it was in September, but still faster than a year ago. As you might expect with an increase in sales, inventory was down from the previous month, but it’s important to note that it is still higher than the previous October.
October existing home sales rose 1.4 percent from September, but are 5.1 percent lower than October 2017, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) October Existing Home Sales Report, released November 21st.
Inventory decreased from September to October, but increased year-over-year. At the current sales pace, the supply of unsold inventory was 4.3 months, up from 3.9 months a year ago.
Home prices continued to increase year-over-year. The median price of existing homes sold in October was $255,400, an increase of 3.8 percent from October 2017 ($246,000). We’ve now reached 80 consecutive months of year-over-year increases.
Days on the market (DOM) were up from September, moving from 32 to 33. A year ago, homes typically stayed on the market for 34 days, so the sales pace is slightly faster year-over-year.
According to NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun, “As more inventory enters the market and we head into the winter season, home price growth has begun to slow more meaningfully,” said Yun. “This allows for much more manageable, less frenzied buying conditions.”
Regional trends showed little variation. Year-over-year, prices rose but sales fell. Month-over-month, only the Midwest showed a drop in sales. Comparing October to September, sales were strongest in the West (up 2.8 percent), followed by the South (1.9 percent) and the Northeast (1.5 percent), with the Midwest lagging behind with a drop of 0.8 percent. The South led the year-over-year price increases at 3.8 percent, followed by the Northeast at 3.0 percent, the Midwest at 2.4 percent, and the West at 1.9 percent. Midland, TX remained at the top of the hottest metro areas list (measured by days on the market/listing views per property). Interestingly, there was no change from September in the Top 10, as Midland was followed by Fort Wayne, IN, Odessa, TX, Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH, Columbus, OH, Colorado Springs, CO, San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA, Janesville-Beloit, WI, Boise City, ID, and Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN.
Should you buy or sell over the holidays? December is almost here, and with it the holiday whirl of parties, shopping, family, friends, and travel. Some people think they should wait until spring to list their home or start looking for one, but if you have the stamina – or the need – this time of year offers advantages for both buyers and sellers. Sellers will find motivated, serious buyers and less competition from other sellers. Buyers will find – you guessed it – serious sellers and less competition from other buyers. It can be a win-win, but you need every advantage. My advice remains the same. Do your homework online. Work with an experienced Realtor® who knows your market. Remember, if you’re buying, get your financing lined up first by talking to a Mortgage Loan Originator with First Choice Loan Services Inc.