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September’s home sales nearly hit 3-year high

But buyer demand outpaced home sales, resulting in the largest inventory decline in over a year

In September, America’s home sales climbed 8.1%, representing the largest year-over-year increase since 2016, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report.

RE/MAX reports that September’s annual increase was the largest September increase since 2013. Although this was accompanied by an August-to-September decline of 17%, it was still significantly less than the month-to-month plunge of 24.4% in September of last year.

Once again, buyer demand outpaced home sales, resulting in the largest inventory decline in over a year.  The report indicates that the number of homes for sale dropped 6.1% from 2018’s level, marking the third consecutive month of annual declines.

According to RE/MAX, September posted a 3.2-month supply of inventory, falling from a 4.2 month supply in September 2018. Homes spent 46 days on the market, which is one day longer than they did last year.

The median price for a home was $254,000 in September, rising 4.5% from last year, which is in line with the year-over-year average gain of 4.9% for 2019’s first nine months.

Despite September’s inventory woes, Adam Contos, the CEO of RE/MAX Holdings said it was encouraging to see the improvement in September home sales, especially given how tough last September’s results were.

“The market still poses some challenges for buyers – framed by rising prices and shrinking inventory – but we’re moving into the fourth quarter on much better footing than we had a year ago,” Contos said. “As we begin to lap the end of last year and its persistent sales declines, the housing market’s momentum increases the chances of seeing more months of strong year-over-year gains in sales.

NOTE: The RE/MAX National Housing Report is based on MLS data in approximately 53 metropolitan areas, including all residential property types, and is not annualized. For maximum representation, many of the largest metro areas in the country are represented, and an attempt is made to include at least one metro from each state. 

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