September 2018 RE/MAX National Housing Report

The September 2018 RE/MAX National Housing Report shows home sales took a 12% tumble while prices remain at record levels.

“The big drop in September closings catches your attention. The market is clearly rebalancing as buyers and sellers continue to process the increasing interest rate environment and what that means to them,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “The slower drop in inventory – a visible trend for nearly half a year – further illustrates the ongoing shift toward market equilibrium, and that’s healthy in the long-term.”

  1. Home Sales
    The report showed trends of fewer closings and stabilizing inventory that continued through September, punctuated by a surprisingly big 11.6% year-over-year drop in home sales.
  2. Record Prices
    September 2018 posted a Median Sales Price of $241,000 that marked the 30th consecutive month of year-over-year price increases – the price is also the highest September price in the 10-year history of the report. Home prices rose by 5.6% over September 2017, more than twice the year-over-year price increase of 2.3% from September 2016 to September 2017. That reversed a trend seen in the previous three months, when year-over-year price increases trailed 2017’s rate of growth.
  3. Low Inventory
    The number of homes for sale in September 2018 was down 1.0% from August 2018 and down 4.7% from September 2017. Based on the rate of home sales in September, the Months Supply of Inventory increased to 3.7 from 3.0 in August 2018, and increased compared to September 2017 at 3.6.

“It’s a little surprising to see prices staying so strong, but it’s hardly shocking in such a tight market,” added Contos. “The headwinds of rising prices and interest rates amid already tight inventory levels have been crimping affordability and slowing sales for most of the year, but it varies by geography. In circumstances like these, where the market is tricky to navigate, both buyers and sellers can benefit by aligning themselves with a professional agent – a local expert who can cut through the noise and advocate on their behalf.”

Watch the 40 second summary video on YouTube

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Market Shifting to Buyers’ Favor

A housing market defined by rapidly rising home prices, bidding wars, a lack of inventory, and sellers with the upper hand in negotiations may be changing. “The signs are pointing to a market that’s shifting toward buyers,” says Danielle Hale, realtor.com®’s chief economist. “But in most places, we’re still a long way from a full reversal.”

After all, home sales aren’t exactly tanking. Prices for existing homes were up 4.6 percent from a year ago in the National Association of REALTORS®’ latest housing report. The median home list price in August was up 7 percent from last year.

While these numbers are still higher than last year, economists point to a slowing growth in the percentage jumps. Last year, median home list prices increased by 10 percent from the previous year and by 9 percent the year before that.

A recent report from real estate brokerage Redfin showed that more than one in four home sellers dropped their asking price last month. The areas seeing some of the biggest decreases this year are Las Vegas; San Jose, Calif.; Seattle; and Atlanta.

“We’ve hit that tipping point in a lot of these cities where what sellers think they can get is just not possible for many buyers,” Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions, told realtor.com®. “Now the pendulum is swinging away from sellers and back toward buyers.”

Economists point to housing affordability as a culprit for the slowdown. Mortgage rates are up 0.82 percent since a year ago; the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.65 percent as of Sept. 20. Each percentage point increase in rates can translate to about $143 more on a monthly mortgage payment, or nearly $51,500 over the life of a loan on a $300,000 priced home, according to realtor.com®.

“Home prices have just gone up too fast,” Blomquist says. “It doesn’t mean that all of a sudden it’s a market that’s going to crash. But it does mean there are limits to what people can afford.”

Washington State NWMLS Market Snapshot for September 2018

Balance is finally returning to the housing market as buyers welcome more choices and moderating prices.

August 2018 RE/MAX National Housing Report

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%.

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.

Read the full article in RE/MAX’s newsroom

Watch the 40 second summary video on YouTube

Washington State NWMLS Market Snapshot for August 2018

July 2018 RE/MAX National Housing Report

Sales Increase Nearly 2%, Despite Record Prices, Sinking Inventory

July home sales rose 1.8% year-over-year, making it the second month of 2018 to post a sales increase year-over-year, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report.

In the July 2018 report, 37 of the report’s 54 metro areas posted sales increases over July 2017—April was the first month of 2018 where more homes were sold than the same month in 2017. The report also marks the 28th consecutive month of year-over-year price increases.

The Median Sales Price of $250,575 was up 4.4% from July 2017, and represents the third-highest price in report history—topped only by May and June of this year. Months Supply of Inventory was at 2.9 – the smallest total ever recorded for July.

Forty-two of the 54 metro areas reported a year-over-year drop in inventory. The Days on Market dropped to 41 – four days less than July 2017 and one day under the previous nine-year low set in June 2018.

“Because we’ve faced challenging inventories and increasing home prices for some time now, a seasonal slowdown that rebalances the market a bit might actually be a positive in the months ahead,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “It could level affordability to some extent and create more opportunity for buyers who’ve been priced out of hot markets.”

Read the full article in RE/MAX’s newsroom

Watch the 40 second summary video on YouTube

Washington State NWMLS Market Snapshot for July 2018