Movoto says home listing prices are rising in major cities
The median listing price in 16 major metropolitan areas rose in May, according to one real estate listing website, leading analysts to believe the market may be hitting bottom. Movoto found the median listing price increased 2.5% from April to May to $246,000. Movoto compiles data from multiple listing services in 16 major cities around the country including Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, San Diego and New York. The report did not break down the statistics per city, but rather created a national trend. The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index recently reported the median home sale price fell to levels seen in 2002 during the first quarter. Standard and Poor's reports the home sale price as opposed to the listing price, which is what Movoto reports. The indication of the two sets of data together is that house sellers are asking for more, while buyers want to pay less. Marc Brandemuehl, vice president of marketing at Movoto, said while the numbers are encouraging, they do not signal a recovery. Instead he said prices are incrementally gaining strength and should keep trending in that direction. "I'm not too sure May price mean recovery because there are still so many properties in the foreclosure system," Brandemuehl said. "We feel the real estate market has bottomed out. We don't see that happening again unless there are some big changes made in the mortgage market." Just as list prices increased in May, so did the amount of inventory on the market. According to Movoto, about 494,200 homes were for sale last night, up from 488,100 in April. Homes for sale that are less than $100,000 — usually distressed or real estate owned — fell to 28.1% of market inventory in May. This is the first time all year those homes did not comprise the majority of homes on the market. "People are snapping up the lower priced homes," Brandemuehl said. "People are realizing these homes are really a bargain." Homes in the $250,000 to $500,000 range make up the largest share of inventory at 29.3%, according to Movoto. Almost 24% of market inventory is attributable to homes between $150,00 and $250,000, while homes more than $500,000 account for 18% of the sale market. Write to Christine Ricciardi. Follow her on Twitter @HWnewbieCR.