More evidence is mounting that U.S. home sales are rebounding in the second half of 2019, according to an October report from real estate brokerage Re/Max.
The company’s national housing report, based on Multiple Listing Service data across all residential property types in 54 metropolitan areas, found that October 2019 sales finished 3.9% higher than the the same month last year. This year’s median sales price of $254,800 set an October record for the Re/Max report, while the 8.4% year-over-year increase in median price was the highest for the month of October since 2013.
“October continued a recent win streak for home sales and the market is positioned much better than it was a year ago,” said Adam Contos, CEO of Re/Max Holdings. “Demand is strong, due in part to low interest rates, but buyers have limited options because inventory remains such a challenge. As a result, prices keep rising.”
Also of note from last month was a steep 9% annual decline in for-sale inventory — the largest drop for a single month since May 2018. Furthermore, the market this past October included 3.1 months of inventory, the lowest figure for that month in the report’s 11-year history. On average, homes spent 49 days on the market last month, which was the second-lowest figure for October since the report began.
Only one of the 54 metro areas in the study reported more than six months of supply — Miami, at 6.9 months. San Francisco, on the other hand, had only 1.6 months of supply, while Denver, Phoenix and Manchester, New Hampshire each had 1.8 months of supply.
“Fortunately, key forecasts suggest an increase in new homes moving onto the market next year, which would help address the inventory situation and potentially slow the steady price gains we’ve seen for so long," Contos said.
October joined May, July and September as the fourth month out of the past six to post an annual home-sales increase. Prior to this past May, that hadn’t happened for nine months. The average number of home sales across all markets surveyed was up 0.4% from September to October of this year.