RE/MAX: April Home Sales ‘Cooler’

RE/MAX, Denver, said the brisk start to the 2017 home-selling season slowed in April, with home sales dropping 4.1% below March and 4.5% below a year ago.

The company’s monthly National Housing Report said “ever-tightening” inventory coupled with increased prices persisted, as the 53 metro area report saw the trends of a seller’s market continuing. The report said the average number of Days on Market declined for the third consecutive month and April’s 57 days set a new low for April in the report’s nine-year history.

The report also said the Median Sales Price of $226,000 was the highest price for any April and marked the 13th consecutive month of year-over-year price increases. Months’ Supply of Inventory, which dropped below three months in March for the first time in the report’s history, fell again to 2.8 (RE/MAX said a months’ supply of less than 6.0 is considered a seller’s market). Inventory fell by 17.6% from a year ago, the 102nd consecutive month of year-over-year declines dating back to October 2008.

“We may be seeing some frustration from buyers,” said Dave Liniger, RE/MAX CEO, Chairman of the Board and Co-Founder. “Inventory is tighter than ever, while strong demand keeps driving up home prices. At the same time, many potential sellers may also be reluctant to list their homes because the tight inventory might impact them as buyers. Home buyers and sellers will need to work with experienced real estate agents to navigate this tough market.”

RE/MAX said more than three quarters of the report’s 53 metro areas saw April home sales decline year-over-year. By contrast, March posted a 6.6% year-over-year spike in sales. Even so, April saw homes sell for more than they did in March in 81% of the markets, while 92% of the markets saw higher year-over-year sale prices.

Overall average number of home sales decreased 4.5% compared to a year ago. Forty-three metro areas experienced a decrease in sales year-over-year or remained unchanged. Ten markets saw an increase in sales, including Wilmington/Dover, Del. +13.8%, Fargo, N.D. +5.7%, Trenton, N.J. +5.0%, Phoenix +4.3% and Houston +2.3%.

Only four metro areas saw year-over-year price decreases, with 10 rising by double-digit percentages. The largest double-digit increases were seen in Seattle +13.9%, Dallas/Ft. Worth +12.5%, Charlotte, N.C. +12.2%, Miami +12.0% and Orlando +11.7%.

Average Days on Market for homes sold in April fell to 57, down seven days from the average in March and down seven days from a year ago. Metro areas with the lowest Days on Market were San Francisco at 22, Denver at 25, Seattle at 26 and Omaha, Neb. at 27. Highest Days on Market averages were in Augusta, Maine at 148 and New York City at 96.

The number of homes for sale in April was down 1.3% from March and down 17.6% from a year ago. The Months’ Supply of Inventory was 2.8, compared to March at 2.7 and a year ago at 3.2. Fifty-one metro areas surveyed reported a months’ supply of less than 6.0. Markets with the lowest Months’ Supply of Inventory continued to be in the west, with Seattle remaining at 0.9 for the second month in a row, Denver remaining at 1.0 for the third month in a row and San Francisco at 1.1.