The number of homes for sale in April inched 1.6 percent higher than in March, the first month-over-month inventory increase since June 2010, according to the April RE/MAX National Housing Report.
The months supply of homes for sale at April’s pace of sales was just 3.6 months, the lowest supply since the RE/MAX report began in August 2008. Closed transactions and median prices both remained 10 percent higher than last year’s levels, signs of a strong housing recovery in regions across the country. Low inventories contribute to a limited growth in sales, preventing some buyers from closing on the home of their choice.
“April was exactly what we needed at this time in the housing recovery. Home sales and prices continued to rise, while we started to see improvement in the number of homes for sale,” said Margaret Kelly, CEO of RE/MAX, LLC. “It may take a few months, but as prices rise and more homeowners gain positive equity, we should see an increase in the inventory of homes for sale, resulting in a much better selection for potential homebuyers.”
The April RE/MAX Housing Report showed an 8.1 percent increase in closed transactions over March and a 10.5 percent increase over sales in April 2012, making April the 22nd month in a row experiencing higher sales than the same month in the previous year. Real estate agents across the country are reporting increased traffic and expect the upcoming summer selling season to be even stronger than last summer. Of the 52 metro areas surveyed in April, 41 reported higher sales than April 2012, and 25 reported double-digit gains, including: Honolulu, HI +53.2 percent, Burlington, VT +40.3 percent, Albuquerque, NM +40.2 percent, Charlotte, NC +39.4 percent, Raleigh & Durham, NC +38.1 percent and Chicago, IL +33.4 percent.
The Median Price for all homes sold in April was $177,200, which was 4.7 percent higher than the median price in March and 10.7 percent higher than the price in April 2012. For 15 months in a row, the median price has been higher than in the same month of the previous year. Until the inventory balances, home prices should remain higher than those in the previous year. Of the 52 metro areas surveyed in April, four saw their median prices drop below last year’s price: Los Angeles, CA -9.1%, Albuquerque, NM -6.3 percent, Cleveland, OH -1.8 percent and Providence, RI -0.3 percent.
However, a total of 48 metros saw year-over-year price increases, with 21 reporting double-digit increases, including: Detroit, MI +44.1 percent, San Francisco, CA +42.2 percent, Atlanta, GA +38.9 percent, Las Vegas, NV +31.6 percent, Orlando, FL +24.6 percent and Phoenix, AZ +23.8 percent.
RE/MAX: Monthly Inventory Rises for First Time in 33 Months | RealEstateEconomyWatch.com.