Existing-Home Sales Subside 1.7 Percent in August

Washington, D.C. – September 20, 2017 (nar.realtor) Existing-home sales stumbled in August for the fourth time in five months as strained supply levels continue to subdue overall activity, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Sales gains in the Northeast and Midwest were outpaced by declines in the South and West.

NAR logo

Total existing-home sales(1), which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, retreated 1.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.35 million in August from 5.44 million in July. Last month’s sales pace is 0.2 percent above last August, and is the lowest since then.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the slump in existing sales stretched into August despite what remains a solid level of demand for buying a home. “Steady employment gains, slowly rising incomes and lower mortgage rates generated sustained buyer interest all summer long, but unfortunately, not more home sales,” he said. “What’s ailing the housing market and continues to weigh on overall sales is the inadequate levels of available inventory and the upward pressure it’s putting on prices in several parts of the country. Sales have been unable to break out because there are simply not enough homes for sale.”

Added Yun, “Some of the South region’s decline in closings can be attributed to the devastation Hurricane Harvey caused to the greater Houston area. Sales will be impacted the rest of the year in Houston, as well as in the most severely affected areas in Florida from Hurricane Irma. However, nearly all of the lost activity will likely show up in 2018.”

The median existing-home price(2) for all housing types in August was $253,500, up 5.6 percent from August 2016 ($240,000). August’s price increase marks the 66th straight month of year-over-year gains.

Total housing inventory(3) at the end of August declined 2.1 percent to 1.88 million existing homes available for sale, and is now 6.5 percent lower than a year ago (2.01 million) and has fallen year-over-year for 27 consecutive months. Unsold inventory is at a 4.2-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from 4.5 months a year ago.

Properties typically stayed on the market for 30 days in August, which is unchanged from July and down from 36 days a year ago. Fifty-one percent of homes sold in August were on the market for less than a month.

Inventory data from realtor.com® reveals that the metropolitan statistical areas where listings stayed on the market the shortest amount of time in August were San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif., 29 days; Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash., 30 days; Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif., 31 days; and San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif., and Salt Lake City, Utah, both at 32 days.

Real Estate Infographic

“Market conditions continue to be stressful and challenging for both prospective first-time buyers and homeowners looking to trade up,” said Yun. “The ongoing rise in home prices is straining the budgets of some of these would-be buyers, and what is available for sale is moving off the market quickly because supply remains minimal in the lower- and mid-price ranges.”

First-time buyers were 31 percent of sales in August, which is down from 33 percent in July and is the lowest share since last August (also 31 percent). NAR’s 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers – released in late 2016(4) – revealed that the annual share of first-time buyers was 35 percent.

According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate (link is external) for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage fell to 3.88 percent in August from 3.97 percent in July and is the lowest since November 2016 (3.77 percent). The average commitment rate for all of 2016 was 3.65 percent.

All-cash sales were 20 percent of transactions in August, up from 19 percent in July but down from 22 percent a year ago. Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 15 percent of homes in August, up from 13 percent in July and 12 percent a year ago.

Distressed sales(6) – foreclosures and short sales – were 4 percent of sales in August, down from 5 percent both in July and a year ago. Three percent of August sales were foreclosures and 1 percent were short sales.

According to President William E. Brown, a Realtor® from Alamo, California, the housing market continues to recover from the depths of the financial crisis. However, the significant household wealth many homeowners have accumulated in recent years through rising home values could be at risk if any of the proposed tax provisions follow through with attempts to marginalize the mortgage interest deduction and eliminate state and local tax deductions.

“Consumers are smart and know that any attempt to cap or limit the deductibility of mortgage interest is essentially a tax on homeownership and the middle class,” said Brown. A study commissioned by NAR (link is external) found that under some tax reform proposals, many homeowners with adjusted gross incomes between $50,000 and $200,000 would see an average tax increase of $815, along with home values shrinking by an average of more than 10 percent. An even steeper decline would be seen in areas with higher property and state income taxes. Congress must keep homeowners in mind as it looks towards tax reform this year.”

Single-family and Condo/Co-op Sales
Single-family home sales decreased 2.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.74 million in August from 4.84 million in July, but are still 0.4 percent above the 4.72 million pace a year ago. The median existing single-family home price was $255,500 in August, up 5.6 percent from August 2016.

Existing condominium and co-op sales climbed 1.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 610,000 units in August, but are still 1.6 percent below a year ago. The median existing condo price was $237,600 in August, which is 5.4 percent above a year ago.

August existing-home sales in the Northeast jumped 10.8 percent to an annual rate of 720,000, and are now 1.4 percent above a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $289,500, which is 5.6 percent above August 2016.

In the Midwest, existing-home sales rose 2.4 percent to an annual rate of 1.28 million in August, and are now 0.8 percent above a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $200,500, up 5.0 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the South decreased 5.7 percent to an annual rate of 2.15 million in August, and are now 0.9 percent lower than a year ago. The median price in the South was $220,400, up 5.4 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West fell 4.8 percent to an annual rate of 1.20 million in August, but are still 0.8 percent above a year ago. The median price in the West was $374,700, up 7.7 percent from August 2016.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

# # #

NOTE: For local information, please contact the local association of Realtors® for data from local multiple listing services. Local MLS data is the most accurate source of sales and price information in specific areas, although there may be differences in reporting methodology.

1. Existing-home sales, which include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, are based on transaction closings from Multiple Listing Services. Changes in sales trends outside of MLSs are not captured in the monthly series. NAR rebenchmarks home sales periodically using other sources to assess overall home sales trends, including sales not reported by MLSs.

Existing-home sales, based on closings, differ from the U.S. Census Bureau’s series on new single-family home sales, which are based on contracts or the acceptance of a deposit. Because of these differences, it is not uncommon for each series to move in different directions in the same month. In addition, existing-home sales, which account for more than 90 percent of total home sales, are based on a much larger data sample – about 40 percent of multiple listing service data each month – and typically are not subject to large prior-month revisions.

The annual rate for a particular month represents what the total number of actual sales for a year would be if the relative pace for that month were maintained for 12 consecutive months. Seasonally adjusted annual rates are used in reporting monthly data to factor out seasonal variations in resale activity. For example, home sales volume is normally higher in the summer than in the winter, primarily because of differences in the weather and family buying patterns. However, seasonal factors cannot compensate for abnormal weather patterns.

Single-family data collection began monthly in 1968, while condo data collection began quarterly in 1981; the series were combined in 1999 when monthly collection of condo data began. Prior to this period, single-family homes accounted for more than nine out of 10 purchases. Historic comparisons for total home sales prior to 1999 are based on monthly single-family sales, combined with the corresponding quarterly sales rate for condos.

2. The median price is where half sold for more and half sold for less; medians are more typical of market conditions than average prices, which are skewed higher by a relatively small share of upper-end transactions. The only valid comparisons for median prices are with the same period a year earlier due to seasonality in buying patterns. Month-to-month comparisons do not compensate for seasonal changes, especially for the timing of family buying patterns. Changes in the composition of sales can distort median price data. Year-ago median and mean prices sometimes are revised in an automated process if additional data is received.

The national median condo/co-op price often is higher than the median single-family home price because condos are concentrated in higher-cost housing markets. However, in a given area, single-family homes typically sell for more than condos as seen in NAR’s quarterly metro area price reports.

3. Total inventory and month’s supply data are available back through 1999, while single-family inventory and month’s supply are available back to 1982 (prior to 1999, single-family sales accounted for more than 90 percent of transactions and condos were measured only on a quarterly basis).

4. Survey results represent owner-occupants and differ from separately reported monthly findings from NAR’s Realtors® Confidence Index, which include all types of buyers. Investors are under-represented in the annual study because survey questionnaires are mailed to the addresses of the property purchased and generally are not returned by absentee owners. Results include both new and existing homes.

5. According to NAR’s Realtors® Confidence Index, an average of 62 percent of buyers who financed their purchase with a mortgage made a down payment of 6 percent or less.

6. Distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales), days on market, first-time buyers, all-cash transactions and investors are from a monthly survey for the NAR’s Realtors® Confidence Index, posted at Realtor.org.

NOTE: NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index for August is scheduled for release on September 27, and Existing-Home Sales for September will be released October 20; release times are 10:00 a.m. ET.

Media Contact:

Adam DeSanctis
(202) 383-1178
Email

Existing-Home Sales Retreat 1.8 Percent in June

Washington, D.C. – July 24, 2017 (nar.realtor) Existing-home sales slipped in June as low supply kept homes selling at a near record pace but ultimately ended up muting overall activity, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Only the Midwest saw an increase in sales last month.

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Total existing-home sales(1), https://www.nar.realtor/topics/existing-home-sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, decreased 1.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.52 million in June from 5.62 million in May. Despite last month’s decline, June’s sales pace is 0.7 percent above a year ago, but is the second lowest of 2017 (February, 5.47 million).

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the previous three-month lull in contract activity translated to a pullback in existing sales in June. “Closings were down in most of the country last month because interested buyers are being tripped up by supply that remains stuck at a meager level and price growth that’s straining their budget,” he said. “The demand for buying a home is as strong as it has been since before the Great Recession. Listings in the affordable price range continue to be scooped up rapidly, but the severe housing shortages inflicting many markets are keeping a large segment of would-be buyers on the sidelines.”

Added Yun, “The good news is that sales are still running slightly above last year’s pace despite these persistent market challenges.”

The median existing-home price(2) for all housing types in June was $263,800, up 6.5 percent from June 2016 ($247,600). Last month’s median sales price surpasses May as the new peak and is the 64th straight month of year-over-year gains.

Total housing inventory(3) at the end of June declined 0.5 percent to 1.96 million existing homes available for sale, and is now 7.1 percent lower than a year ago (2.11 million) and has fallen year-over-year for 25 consecutive months. Unsold inventory is at a 4.3-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from 4.6 months a year ago.

First-time buyers were 32 percent of sales in June, which is down from 33 percent both in May and a year ago. NAR’s 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers – released in late 2016(4) – revealed that the annual share of first-time buyers was 35 percent.

“It’s shaping up to be another year of below average sales to first-time buyers despite a healthy economy that continues to create jobs,” said Yun. “Worsening supply and affordability conditions in many markets have unfortunately put a temporary hold on many aspiring buyers’ dreams of owning a home this year.”

According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate (link is external) for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage declined for the third consecutive month, dipping to 3.90 percent in June from 4.01 percent in May. The average commitment rate for all of 2016 was 3.65 percent.

Properties typically stayed on the market for 28 days in June, which is up from 27 days in May but down from 34 days a year ago. Short sales were on the market the longest at a median of 102 days in June, while foreclosures sold in 57 days and non-distressed homes took 27 days. Fifty-four percent of homes sold in June were on the market for less than a month.

Inventory data from realtor.com® reveals that the metropolitan statistical areas where listings stayed on the market the shortest amount of time in June were Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash., 23 days; Salt Lake City, Utah, 26 days; San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif., 27 days; San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif., 29 days; and Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo., at 30 days.

“Prospective buyers who postponed their home search this spring because of limited inventory may have better luck as the summer winds down,” said President William E. Brown, a Realtor® from Alamo, California. “The pool of buyers this time of year typically begins to shrink as households with children have likely closed on a home before school starts. Inventory remains extremely tight, but patience may pay off in coming months for those looking to buy.”

All-cash sales were 18 percent of transactions in June, down from 22 percent both in May and a year ago, and the lowest since June 2009 (13 percent). Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 13 percent of homes in June, down from 16 percent in May and unchanged from a year ago. Fifty-six percent of investors paid in cash in June.

Distressed sales(5) – foreclosures and short sales – were 4 percent of sales in June, down from both May (5 percent) and a year ago (6 percent) and matching last September as the lowest share since NAR began tracking in October 2008. Three percent of June sales were foreclosures and 1 percent were short sales.

Single-family and Condo/Co-op Sales
Single-family home sales dipped 2.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.88 million in June from 4.98 million in May, but are still 0.6 percent above the 4.85 million pace a year ago. The median existing single-family home price was $266,200 in June, up 6.6 percent from June 2016.

Existing condominium and co-op sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 640,000 units in June (unchanged from May), and are 1.6 percent higher than a year ago. The median existing condo price was $245,900 in June, which is 6.5 percent above a year ago.

Regional Breakdown
June existing-home sales in the Northeast fell 2.6 percent to an annual rate of 760,000, but are still 1.3 percent above a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $296,300, which is 4.1 percent above June 2016.

In the Midwest, existing-home sales rose 3.1 percent to an annual rate of 1.32 million in June (unchanged from June 2016). The median price in the Midwest was $213,000, up 7.7 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the South decreased 4.7 percent to an annual rate of 2.23 million (unchanged from a year ago). The median price in the South was $231,300, up 6.2 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West declined 0.8 percent to an annual rate of 1.21 million in June, but remain 2.5 percent above a year ago. The median price in the West was $378,100, up 7.4 percent from June 2016.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

# # #

NOTE: For local information, please contact the local association of Realtors® for data from local multiple listing services. Local MLS data is the most accurate source of sales and price information in specific areas, although there may be differences in reporting methodology.

1. Existing-home sales, which include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, are based on transaction closings from Multiple Listing Services. Changes in sales trends outside of MLSs are not captured in the monthly series. NAR rebenchmarks home sales periodically using other sources to assess overall home sales trends, including sales not reported by MLSs.

Existing-home sales, based on closings, differ from the U.S. Census Bureau’s series on new single-family home sales, which are based on contracts or the acceptance of a deposit. Because of these differences, it is not uncommon for each series to move in different directions in the same month. In addition, existing-home sales, which account for more than 90 percent of total home sales, are based on a much larger data sample – about 40 percent of multiple listing service data each month – and typically are not subject to large prior-month revisions.

The annual rate for a particular month represents what the total number of actual sales for a year would be if the relative pace for that month were maintained for 12 consecutive months. Seasonally adjusted annual rates are used in reporting monthly data to factor out seasonal variations in resale activity. For example, home sales volume is normally higher in the summer than in the winter, primarily because of differences in the weather and family buying patterns. However, seasonal factors cannot compensate for abnormal weather patterns.

Single-family data collection began monthly in 1968, while condo data collection began quarterly in 1981; the series were combined in 1999 when monthly collection of condo data began. Prior to this period, single-family homes accounted for more than nine out of 10 purchases. Historic comparisons for total home sales prior to 1999 are based on monthly single-family sales, combined with the corresponding quarterly sales rate for condos.

2. The median price is where half sold for more and half sold for less; medians are more typical of market conditions than average prices, which are skewed higher by a relatively small share of upper-end transactions. The only valid comparisons for median prices are with the same period a year earlier due to seasonality in buying patterns. Month-to-month comparisons do not compensate for seasonal changes, especially for the timing of family buying patterns. Changes in the composition of sales can distort median price data. Year-ago median and mean prices sometimes are revised in an automated process if additional data is received.

The national median condo/co-op price often is higher than the median single-family home price because condos are concentrated in higher-cost housing markets. However, in a given area, single-family homes typically sell for more than condos as seen in NAR’s quarterly metro area price reports.

3. Total inventory and month’s supply data are available back through 1999, while single-family inventory and month’s supply are available back to 1982 (prior to 1999, single-family sales accounted for more than 90 percent of transactions and condos were measured only on a quarterly basis).

4. Survey results represent owner-occupants and differ from separately reported monthly findings from NAR’s Realtors® Confidence Index, which include all types of buyers. Investors are under-represented in the annual study because survey questionnaires are mailed to the addresses of the property purchased and generally are not returned by absentee owners. Results include both new and existing homes.

5. Distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales), days on market, first-time buyers, all-cash transactions and investors are from a monthly survey for the NAR’s Realtors® Confidence Index, posted at Realtor.org.

NOTE: NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index for June is scheduled for release on July 31, and Existing-Home Sales for July will be released August 24; release times are 10:00 a.m. ET.

Media Contact:

Adam DeSsanctis
(202) 383-1178
Email

First Half of 2017 Ends with Record Sales, Prices

July RE/MAX National Housing Report on MLS Data from 53 Metro Areas

DENVER, July 14, 2017 (PRNewswire) Halfway through 2017, the U.S. housing market is on pace for another record year as four of the last six months have topped same month sales from 2016, according to the July 2017 RE/MAX National Housing Report. June home sales were 1.4% higher than June 2016, which was previously the month with the most home sales in the nine-year history of the report. To access the housing report infographic, visit rem.ax/2cYFT50.

gI_0_REMAXHighResolution

The combination of increased sales and a record low inventory that slipped further to 2.8 months resulted in higher sales prices. June’s median sales price of $245,000, up 7.5% over last June, also set a RE/MAX National Housing report record. In fact, prices increased in 50 of the report’s 53 markets.

The average number of Days on Market dropped to a report-record low of 47, while inventory dropped year-over-year in 87% of the markets.

Other notable numbers:

  • Thirty of the 53 metro areas experienced an increase in transactions.
  • The June 2017 Median Sales Price of $245,000 was the highest in the history of the report.
  • Decreasing 15.2% from June 2016, inventory continued to decline year-over-year. This is the 104th consecutive month of year-over-year declines dating back to October 2008.
  • The June 2017 average Days on Market was 47, the lowest Days on Market in the history of the report.

“Sellers continue to benefit from limited inventory, getting top-dollar for their homes, and as a result, overall sales are at a record high,” said Adam Contos, RE/MAX Co-CEO. “But buyers shouldn’t be discouraged. Mortgage rates are still relatively low and the market may be taking a positive turn, albeit subtle, as recent Labor Department data showed a decline in open construction jobs which could mean more workers focused on new home builds.”

Closed Transactions
Of the 53 metro areas surveyed in June 2017, the overall average number of home sales increased 7.5% compared to May 2017 and 1.4% compared to June 2016. Thirty of the 53 metro areas experienced an increase in sales year-over-year including, Trenton, NJ +14.9%, Fargo, ND +14.6%, Wilmington/Dover, DE +12.9%, Albuquerque, NM +10.4% and Billings, MT +10.4%.

Median Sales Price – Median of 53 metro median prices
In June 2017, the median of all 53 metro Median Sales Prices was $245,000, up 5.6% from May 2017 and up 7.5% from June 2016. Only three metro areas saw a decrease in Median Sales Price (Trenton, NJ, -12.1%, Anchorage, AK, -2.5%, and Wilmington/Dover, DE, -1.3%). Ten metro areas increased by double-digit percentages, with the largest increases seen in Las Vegas, NV +13.7%, Nashville, TN +13.7%, Seattle, WA 12.3%, Manchester, NH +12.2%, and San Diego, CA +11.6%.

Days on Market – Average of 53 metro areas
The average Days on Market for homes sold in June 2017 was 47, down four days from the average in May 2017, and down seven days from the June 2016 average. The four metro areas with the lowest Days on Market were Omaha, NE at 20, Seattle, WA at 20, Denver, CO at 21 and San Francisco, CA at 22. The highest Days on Market averages were in Augusta, ME at 119 and Miami, FL at 85. Days on Market is the number of days between when a home is first listed in an MLS and a sales contract is signed.

Months Supply of Inventory – Average of 53 metro areas
The number of homes for sale in June 2017 was up 1.2% from May 2017, and down 15.2% from June 2016. Based on the rate of home sales in June, the Months Supply of Inventory was 2.8, compared to May 2017 at 2.6 and June 2016 at 3.2. This is the fourth consecutive month that months supply has been below 3.0. A 6.0-months supply indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers. In June 2017, 52 of the 53 metro areas surveyed reported a months supply of less than 6.0, which is typically considered a seller’s market. At 6.4, Miami, FL continued to be the only metro area that saw a months supply above 6.0, which is typically considered a buyer’s market. The markets with the lowest Months Supply of Inventory continued to be in the west, with San Francisco, CA at 1.0, Seattle, WA at 1.1, and Denver, CO at 1.2.

Contact
For specific data in this report or to request an interview, please contact newsroom@remax.com.

About the RE/MAX Network:
RE/MAX was founded in 1973 by Dave and Gail Liniger, with an innovative, entrepreneurial culture affording its agents and franchisees the flexibility to operate their businesses with great independence. Over 110,000 agents provide RE/MAX a global reach of more than 100 countries and territories. Nobody sells more real estate than RE/MAX, when measured by residential transaction sides. RE/MAX, LLC, one of the world’s leading franchisors of real estate brokerage services, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of RMCO, LLC, which is controlled and managed by RE/MAX Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: RMAX). With a passion for the communities in which its agents live and work, RE/MAX is proud to have raised more than $157 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® and other charities. For more information about RE/MAX, to search home listings or find an agent in your community, please visit www.remax.com. For the latest news about RE/MAX, please visit www.remax.com/newsroom.

Description
The RE/MAX National Housing Report is distributed each month on or about the 15th. The first Report was distributed in August 2008. The Report is based on MLS data in approximately 53 metropolitan areas, includes all residential property types, and is not annualized. For maximum representation, many of the largest metro areas in the country are represented, and an attempt is made to include at least one metro from each state. Metro area definitions include the specific counties established by the U.S. Government’s Office of Management and Budget, with some exceptions.

Definitions
Transactions are the total number of closed residential transactions during the given month. Months Supply of Inventory is the total number of residential properties listed for sale at the end of the month (current inventory) divided by the number of sales contracts signed (pended) during the month. Where “pended” data is unavailable, this calculation is made using closed transactions. Days on Market is the number of days that pass from the time a property is listed until the property goes under contract for all residential properties sold during the month. Median Sales Price is the median of the median sales prices in each of the metro areas included in the survey.

MLS data is provided by contracted data aggregators, RE/MAX brokerages and regional offices. While MLS data is believed to be accurate, it cannot be guaranteed. MLS data is constantly being updated, making any analysis a snapshot at a particular time. Every month the RE/MAX National Housing Report re-calculates the previous period’s data to ensure accuracy over time. All raw data remains the intellectual property of each local MLS organization.

Redfin: Homes Sold Faster Than Ever in April

Home prices gained as sales were constrained by a double-digit inventory dip

The typical home that sold last month went under contract in just 40 days, and the market is likely to accelerate further

Seattle, WA – May 18th 2017 (Red Fin) U.S. home prices rose 6.2 percent to a median sale price of $280,000 in April, according to Redfin (www.redfin.com), the next-generation real estate brokerage. Home sales inched up 1.2 percent over last year, constrained by a shortage in the supply of homes. The number of homes for sale fell 13.3 percent, the steepest decline in four years, marking 19 straight months of annual declines.

This Smart News Release features multimedia. View the full release here.

The typical home went under contract in 40 days, 10 days faster than a year earlier, making April the fastest month on record since Redfin began tracking the market in 2010. One in five homes (22.2%) that sold in April went under contract within two weeks of their debut. One in four (24.7%) homes sold above their list price, which is the highest percentage Redfin has recorded.
“When it comes to the housing market breaking records, I’m beginning to sound like a broken record,” said Nela Richardson, Redfin chief economist. “The market tends to accelerate through June so I wouldn’t be surprised if new records for speed and competition are reached in May and June given what we are seeing now. The only record this market can’t break is sales. You need more inventory for that!”

Regional April Highlights

Competition

  • Denver, CO was the fastest market, with nearly half of all homes going under contract in just 6 days, down from 11 days a year earlier. Seattle, WA was the next fastest market with 7 median days on market, followed by Portland, OR and Tacoma, WA at 10 days.
  • The most competitive market in April was San Jose, CA where 75.4% of homes sold above list price, followed by 69.5% in San Francisco, CA, 69.4% in Oakland, CA, 62.1% in Seattle, WA, and 52.4% in Tacoma, WA. In sharp contrast, 0.0% of homes in Kansas City, MO sold above the list price.

Prices

  • Milwaukee, WI had the nation’s highest price growth, up 18.2% since last year to $208,000. Greenville, SC had the second highest price growth at 17.6% year-over-year, followed by Seattle, WA (17.4%), Deltona, FL (14.8%), and Tampa, FL (13.8%).
  • 2 metros saw price declines in April: Baton Rouge, LA (-1.2%), and Greensboro, NC (-1%).

Sales

  • 18 out of 90 metros saw sales surge by double digits from last year. Poughkeepsie, NY led the nation in year-over-year sales growth, up 36%, followed by Baltimore, MD, up 31%. Camden, NJ rounded out the top three with sales up 28% from a year ago.
  • Home sales in Buffalo, NY and Ogden, UT declined by 19.4% and 19.3%, respectively.
    • Inventory

      • Rochester, NY had the largest decrease in overall inventory, falling 37.8% since last April. Seattle, WA (-35.3%), Buffalo, NY (-32.8%), and Rochester, NH (-30.8%) also saw far fewer homes available on the market than a year ago.
      • Fort Myers, FL had the highest increase in the number of homes for sale, up 29.2% year over year, followed by Knoxville, TN (19.7%) and Austin, TX (12.4%).

      To read the full report, complete with data and charts, please visit the following link: www.redfin.com.

      About Redfin

      Redfin (www.redfin.com) is the next-generation real estate brokerage, combining its own full-service agents with modern technology to redefine real estate in the consumer’s favor. Founded by software engineers, Redfin has the country’s #1 brokerage website and offers a host of online tools to consumers, including the Redfin Estimate, the automated home-value estimate with the industry’s lowest published error rate. Homebuyers and sellers enjoy a full-service, technology-powered experience from Redfin real estate agents, while saving thousands in commissions. Redfin serves more than 80 major metro areas across the U.S. The company has closed more than $40 billion in home sales through 2016.

      Contacts

      Redfin Journalist Services:
      Alina Ptaszynski
      (206) 588-6863
      press@redfin.com

California Pending Home Sales Lose Steam for Fourth Straight Month in April, C.A.R. Reports

Los Angeles, CA – May 24, 2017 (PRNewswire-USNewswire) Consistent with the slowdown in April’s closed escrow sales, which declined from the previous month and year, low housing inventory and eroding affordability suppressed pending home sales for the fourth straight month, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) said today.

CAR Logo

C.A.R.’s April Market Pulse Survey** saw mixed results as REALTORS® reported an increase in floor calls for the fourth straight month, but less open house traffic, and no change in listing appointment activity compared with the previous month.

Pending home sales data:

  • Based on signed contracts, year-over-year statewide pending home sales declined for the fourth straight month in April on a seasonally adjusted basis, with the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI)* declining 7.4 percent from 122.8 in April 2016 to 113.7 in April 2017. On a monthly basis, California pending home sales increased 5.9 percent from the March index of 107.4.
  • April’s year-over-year pending sales decline is the largest since July 2014, when sales decreased 9.1 percent from the previous year. The quickening pace of pending sales declines provides further evidence that the typically busy spring home buying season may underperform, primarily due to demand outstripping the supply of active listings, which was 10.5 percent lower than in April a year ago.
  • At the regional level, Southern California was the most resilient region in the state, where pending sales held on for a modest decline of 2.8 percent, aided in large part by a 2 percent increase in Riverside County and a 1.1 percent uptick in Orange County. San Diego posted a double-digit decline of 11.1 percent. Los Angeles County saw pending sales decline 4.7 percent, and San Bernardino pending sales fell 4 percent.
  • At the opposite end of the spectrum, the San Francisco Bay Area bore the brunt of the slowdown. On a year over year basis, pending sales in April were 17.1 percent below where they were in April 2016. San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara all posted double-digit declines in pending sales (down 16.1 percent, 12.2 percent, 14.6 percent, respectively) as inventories remained between 1.8 and 2 months of supply with median prices of more than $1 million.
  • The Central Valley also posted a double-digit decline of 11.2 percent in April. Despite the rebounding energy sector and relative affordability, Kern County saw pending sales shrink by 15.5 percent from April 2016. However, Fresno, Kings, Madera, and Merced were already seeing closed sales begin to stumble back in March, and this weak reading on pending sales suggests that the sluggishness of sales will persist in the Central Valley over the near term as well.
  • In C.A.R.’s newest market indicator of future price appreciation, Market Velocity – home sales relative to the number of new listings coming on line each month to replenish that sold inventory – suggests that price growth will begin to accelerate this summer. With demand remaining strong and inventories tightening further, price pressure will get more intense over the next six months and that median price growth may accelerate into the high single digits through the fall. Market Velocity is strongly correlated with increases/decreases in price growth with a roughly three- to six-month lag time.

Year-to-Year Change in Pending Sales by County/Region

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April REALTOR® Market Pulse Survey**:

Entering the spring homebuying season, California REALTORS® responding to C.A.R.’s April Market Pulse Survey said their expectations for market conditions of the next year declined from April as they experienced less open house traffic, fewer multiple offers, more price reductions, and no change in listing appointment activity compared with March.

  • The share of homes selling above asking price dipped from 32 percent a year ago to 31 percent in April, while the share of properties selling below asking price slipped to 38 percent from 40 percent in April 2016. The remaining 31 percent sold at asking price, up from 28 percent in April 2016.
  • For homes that sold above asking price, the premium paid over asking price was essentially unchanged from a year ago, at 10 percent.
  • The 38 percent of homes that sold below asking price sold for an average of 17 percent below asking price in April, compared to 12 percent a year ago.
  • The share of properties receiving multiple offers declined in April after trending higher for three straight months. About two-thirds of properties sold (68 percent) received multiple offers in April, down from 69 percent in April 2016.
  • The share of properties receiving three or more offers in April was 44 percent, compared to 45 percent a year ago.
  • Only homes priced $500,000-$749,000 and $2 million and higher posted gains in receiving three or more offers compared with last year, rising from 53 percent to 61 percent, and 50 percent and 63 percent, respectively.
  • After falling for four consecutive months, listing price reductions rose to 26 percent in April, up from 23 percent in April 2016.
  • A lack of available inventory continued to be the top concern for 48 percent of REALTORS®, the highest level recorded. Eroding housing affordability/high interest rates concerned 19.5 percent of REALTORS®. Inflated home prices/housing bubble was cited by 19.5 percent of REALTORS®. A slowdown in economic growth, lending and financing, and policy and regulations rounded out REALTORS®’ remaining biggest concerns.
  • REALTORS®’ expectations of market conditions over the next year remained high at an index of 64, up from an index of 60 a year ago.

Graphics (click links to open):

*Note: C.A.R.’s pending sales information is generated from a survey of more than 70 associations of REALTORS® and MLSs throughout the state. Pending home sales are forward-looking indicators of future home sales activity, offering solid information on future changes in the direction of the market. A sale is listed as pending after a seller has accepted a sales contract on a property. The majority of pending home sales usually become closed sales transactions one to two months later. The year 2008 was used as the benchmark for the Pending Homes Sales Index. An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2008.

**C.A.R.’s Market Pulse Survey is a monthly online survey sent to more than 10,000 California REALTORS® to measure data about their last closed transaction and sentiment about business activity in their market area for the previous month. More than 400 REALTORS® responded.

Leading the way…® in California real estate for more than 110 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with more than 190,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

Existing-Home Sales Slip 2.3 Percent in April; Days on Market Falls to Under a Month

Washington, D.C. – May 24, 2017 (nar.realtor) Stubbornly low supply levels held down existing-home sales in April and also pushed the median number of days a home was on the market to a new low of 29 days, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

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Total existing-home sales(1), which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, dipped 2.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.57 million in April from a downwardly revised 5.70 million in March. Despite last month’s decline, sales are still 1.6 percent above a year ago and at the fourth highest pace over the past year.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says every major region except for the Midwest saw a retreat in existing sales in April. “Last month’s dip in closings was somewhat expected given that there was such a strong sales increase in March at 4.2 percent, and new and existing inventory is not keeping up with the fast pace homes are coming off the market,” he said. “Demand is easily outstripping supply in most of the country and it’s stymieing many prospective buyers from finding a home to purchase.”

The median existing-home price(2) for all housing types in April was $244,800, up 6.0 percent from April 2016 ($230,900). April’s price increase marks the 62nd straight month of year-over-year gains.

Total housing inventory(3) at the end of April climbed 7.2 percent to 1.93 million existing homes available for sale, but is still 9.0 percent lower than a year ago (2.12 million) and has fallen year-over-year for 23 consecutive months. Unsold inventory is at a 4.2-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from 4.6 months a year ago.

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“Realtors® continue to voice the frustration their clients are experiencing because of the insufficient number of homes for sale,” added Yun. “Homes in the lower- and mid-market price range are hard to find in most markets, and when one is listed for sale, interest is immediate and multiple offers are nudging the eventual sales prices higher.”

Properties typically stayed on the market for 29 days in April, which is down from 34 days in March and 39 days a year ago, and surpasses last May (32 days) as the shortest timeframe since NAR began tracking in May 2011. Short sales were on the market the longest at a median of 88 days in April, while foreclosures sold in 46 days and non-distressed homes took 28 days. Fifty-two percent of homes sold in April were on the market for less than a month (a new high).

Inventory data from realtor.com® reveals that the metropolitan statistical areas where listings stayed on the market the shortest amount of time in April were San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif., 23 days; San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif., 25 days; Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo., 27 days; and Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash., 28 days.

According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate (link is external) for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage declined for the first time in six months, dipping to 4.05 percent in April from 4.20 percent in March. The average commitment rate for all of 2016 was 3.65 percent.

“Mortgage rates have been stuck in a holding pattern in recent months, which is a relief for spring homebuyers,” said Yun. “With price growth showing little sign of slowing, prospective first-time buyers will be the most sensitive to any sudden uptick in rates in the months ahead.”

Matching the highest percentage since last September, first-time buyers were 34 percent of sales in April, which is up from 32 percent both in March and a year ago. NAR’s 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers – released in late 2016(4) – revealed that the annual share of first-time buyers was 35 percent.

President William E. Brown, a Realtor® from Alamo, California, says it’s not only prospective homebuyers who are facing housing issues; many middle-income homeowners who benefit from the mortgage interest deduction could be slapped with a tax increase if some of the tax reform proposals currently being discussed go through. A recently released study commissioned by NAR titled, “Impact of Tax Reform Options on Owner-Occupied Housing,” (link is external) estimated taxes would rise on average by $815 each year for homeowners with adjusted gross incomes between $50,000 and $200,000. Furthermore, home values could shrink by an average of more than 10 percent, with areas with higher property taxes or state income taxes experiencing an even steeper decline.

“Realtors® support tax reform, but any plan that effectively nullifies the current tax benefits of owning a home is a non-starter for the roughly 75 million homeowners and countless prospective first-time buyers that see owning a home as part of their American Dream,” said Brown. Thousands of Realtors® took this message to Capitol Hill last week during NAR’s annual legislative meetings in Washington, D.C.

All-cash sales were 21 percent of transactions in April, down from 23 percent in March and 24 percent a year ago. Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 15 percent of homes in April, unchanged from March but up from 13 percent a year ago. Fifty-seven percent of investors paid in cash in April.

Distressed sales(5) – foreclosures and short sales – were 5 percent of sales in April, down from 6 percent in March and 7 percent a year ago. Three percent of April sales were foreclosures and 2 percent were short sales. Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 18 percent below market value in April (16 percent in March), while short sales were discounted 12 percent (14 percent in March).

Members of the media are invited to attend the upcoming Sustainable Homeownership Conference on June 9 at University of California’s Memorial Stadium in Berkeley. In celebration of National Homeownership Month, the conference brings together experts to examine housing trends and real estate’s positive impacts. NAR’s Brown and Yun and Berkeley Hass Real Estate Group Chair Ken Rosen are among the prominent experts scheduled to speak. To register contact Adam DeSanctis, 202-383-1178 or adesanctis@realtors.org (link sends e-mail).

Single-family and Condo/Co-op Sales
Single-family home sales decreased 2.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.95 million in April from 5.07 million in March, but are still 1.6 percent above the 4.87 million pace a year ago. The median existing single-family home price was $246,100 in April, up 6.1 percent from April 2016.

Existing condominium and co-op sales declined 1.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 620,000 units in April, but are still 1.6 percent higher than a year ago. The median existing condo price was $234,600 in April, which is 5.6 percent above a year ago.

Regional Breakdown
April existing-home sales in the Northeast dipped 2.7 percent to an annual rate of 730,000, and are now 2.7 percent below a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $267,700, which is 1.6 percent above April 2016.

In the Midwest, existing-home sales increased 3.8 percent to an annual rate of 1.36 million in April, but are 0.7 percent below a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $194,500, up 7.8 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the South in fell 5.0 percent to an annual rate of 2.30 million, but are still 3.6 percent above April 2016. The median price in the South was $217,700, up 7.9 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West declined 3.3 percent to an annual rate of 1.18 million in April, but are still 3.5 percent above a year ago. The median price in the West was $358,600, up 6.8 percent from April 2016.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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NOTE: For local information, please contact the local association of Realtors® for data from local multiple listing services. Local MLS data is the most accurate source of sales and price information in specific areas, although there may be differences in reporting methodology.

1. Existing-home sales, which include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, are based on transaction closings from Multiple Listing Services. Changes in sales trends outside of MLSs are not captured in the monthly series. NAR rebenchmarks home sales periodically using other sources to assess overall home sales trends, including sales not reported by MLSs.

Existing-home sales, based on closings, differ from the U.S. Census Bureau’s series on new single-family home sales, which are based on contracts or the acceptance of a deposit. Because of these differences, it is not uncommon for each series to move in different directions in the same month. In addition, existing-home sales, which account for more than 90 percent of total home sales, are based on a much larger data sample – about 40 percent of multiple listing service data each month – and typically are not subject to large prior-month revisions.

The annual rate for a particular month represents what the total number of actual sales for a year would be if the relative pace for that month were maintained for 12 consecutive months. Seasonally adjusted annual rates are used in reporting monthly data to factor out seasonal variations in resale activity. For example, home sales volume is normally higher in the summer than in the winter, primarily because of differences in the weather and family buying patterns. However, seasonal factors cannot compensate for abnormal weather patterns.

Single-family data collection began monthly in 1968, while condo data collection began quarterly in 1981; the series were combined in 1999 when monthly collection of condo data began. Prior to this period, single-family homes accounted for more than nine out of 10 purchases. Historic comparisons for total home sales prior to 1999 are based on monthly single-family sales, combined with the corresponding quarterly sales rate for condos.

2. The median price is where half sold for more and half sold for less; medians are more typical of market conditions than average prices, which are skewed higher by a relatively small share of upper-end transactions. The only valid comparisons for median prices are with the same period a year earlier due to seasonality in buying patterns. Month-to-month comparisons do not compensate for seasonal changes, especially for the timing of family buying patterns. Changes in the composition of sales can distort median price data. Year-ago median and mean prices sometimes are revised in an automated process if additional data is received.

The national median condo/co-op price often is higher than the median single-family home price because condos are concentrated in higher-cost housing markets. However, in a given area, single-family homes typically sell for more than condos as seen in NAR’s quarterly metro area price reports.

3. Total inventory and month’s supply data are available back through 1999, while single-family inventory and month’s supply are available back to 1982 (prior to 1999, single-family sales accounted for more than 90 percent of transactions and condos were measured only on a quarterly basis).

4. Survey results represent owner-occupants and differ from separately reported monthly findings from NAR’s Realtors® Confidence Index, which include all types of buyers. Investors are under-represented in the annual study because survey questionnaires are mailed to the addresses of the property purchased and generally are not returned by absentee owners. Results include both new and existing homes.

5 .Distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales), days on market, first-time buyers, all-cash transactions and investors are from a monthly survey for the NAR’s Realtors® Confidence Index, posted at Realtor.org.

NOTE: NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index for April is scheduled for release on May 31, and Existing-Home Sales for May will be released June 21; release times are 10:00 a.m. ET.

Media Contact:

Adam DeSanctis
(202) 383-1178
Email