RE/MAX: October home sales slide as seasonal slowdown hits market
October home sales slid 9.8% from September and 30.2% compared to the year-ago period as seasonal slowdowns and the expired homebuyer's tax credit took their toll, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report released Friday. Activity in October is in line with "the usual summer-to-fall selling pattern," falling from September, according to RE/MAX. Out of the 54 metropolitan areas surveyed, only Burlington, Vt., experienced a year-over-year increase in home sales activity. Sales were up 59.3% compared to 2009. “It’s understandable that sales are lower than the same time last year since the data was artificially inflated in October 2009 by homebuyers rushing to take advantage of the tax credit,” said Margaret Kelly, CEO of RE/MAX. “We’re pleased that despite all the market swings, home prices have remained stable." (see chart below for price changes) Home prices nationwide fell 0.68% in October compared to the same period in 2009. RE/MAX said 35 of the surveyed areas actually witnessed a price increase, while 18 witnessed a price decrease. The inventory of houses on the market in October dropped 5.7% from September and 1.1% from October 2009. There is now a 9.7-month supply of houses on the market, according to the report. RE/MAX considers a six-month supply of home equilibrium between buyer and sellers. Write to Christine Ricciardi.