May 2016 RE/MAX National Housing Report
May 17, 2016
DENVER (May 17, 2016) – With the 2016 home-buying season just starting, April sales saw a 7.5% increase over March and a 3.2% rise over April last year, which nearly matches the average year-over-year sales increase of 4.3% so far in 2016. The Median Sales Price in April was $215,000, which was 5.4% higher than one year ago and 7.5% above the median price in March. The inventory of homes for sale remains very tight in many markets across the country, with the April inventory 15.2% lower than April 2015. At the rate of home sales in April, the national Months Supply of Inventory was 3.2, down from 3.7 in March.
“Even though inventory remained tight, April still saw a demand for homes at a level higher than one year ago. Homebuyers realize that interest rates are historically low and mortgage accessibility appears to be improving along with the overall economy. Price increases make it possible for homeowners to feel comfortable selling, but they aren’t at a level that keeps first-time buyers out of the market,” said Dave Liniger, RE/MAX CEO, Chairman of the Board and Co-Founder.
“The steady annual increase in home values shows sustainable growth and an improving economy. We always look for gains to be similar to inflationary growth while avoiding the hikes that could lead to bubble fears. We’re currently in that range, which should come as a more comforting sign to many homeowners,” added Bob Walters, Quicken Loans, Chief Economist.
Closed Transactions – Year-over-year change
In the 53 metro areas surveyed in April, the average number of home sales was 3.2% higher than one year ago, and was 7.5% higher than the previous month. The sequential monthly increase was in line with the 6.8% average seen over the last seven years. Like February and March, home sales continued to be strong the Northeast. Across the nation in April, 34 of the 53 metro areas surveyed reported home sales higher than one year ago, with 16 experiencing double-digit increases, including Hartford, CT +27.4%, Providence, RI +27.1%, Augusta, ME +23.4%, Manchester, NH +22.3%, Boston, MA +21.1% and Tulsa, OK +16.2%.
Median Sales Price – Median of 53 metro median prices
The Median Sales Price in April was $215,000, up 7.5% from March, and up 5.4% from the Median Sales Price in April 2015. April is the 51st consecutive month without a drop in price from the previous year. In 2015, the monthly average of year-over-year price increases was 7.6%. The 5.4% rise in April may mark a moderation in price increases, which would have a positive impact on home affordability. Among the 53 metro areas surveyed in April, only two had a year-over-year drop in prices, Tulsa, OK -2.7% and Trenton, NJ -0.4%. The remaining 51 metros reported higher prices than last year, with 11 rising by double-digit percentages, including Providence, RI +17.5%, Portland, OR +15.5%, Boise, ID +13.5%, Fargo, ND +12.5%, Nashville, TN +11.7% and Burlington, VT +11.4%.
Days on Market – Average of 53 metro areas
The average Days on Market for all homes sold in April was 64, down 7 days from the average of 71 in both March and April 2015. April becomes the 37th consecutive month with a Days on Market average of 80 or less. In the three markets with the lowest inventory supply – San Francisco, Denver and Seattle – Days on Market was 23, 27 and 32 respectively. The highest Days on Market averages were seen in Augusta, ME 159, Des Moines, IA 110 and Burlington, VT 108. Days on Market is the number of days between when a home is first listed in an MLS and a sales contract is signed.
Month’s Supply of Inventory – Average of 53 metro areas
The number of homes for sale in April was just 0.2% lower than in March, but 15.2% lower than in April 2015. The average loss of inventory on a year-over-year basis in 2015 was 12.2%. While inventory remains much lower than last year, there are signs of stabilization month-to-month. Based on the rate of home sales in April, the Month’s Supply of Inventory was 3.2, which is nearly identical to last month and last year, 3.7 and 3.6 respectively. A 6.0 month’s supply indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers. The number of metros with a month’s supply below 2 has jumped significantly. While January and February saw 5 and 6 metros below 2, March and April both reported 11 metros with a supply less than 2 months. Those with the lowest Month’s Supply are Denver, CO 1.1, Seattle, WA 1.1, San Francisco, CA 1.2, Omaha, NE 1.2, Portland, OR 1.3 and Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX 1.6.