RE/MAX: November Home Sales Drop as Inventories Rise

RE/MAX, Denver, said home sales fell for the fourth consecutive month as more homes came on the market.

The company’s monthly National Housing Report said November home sales declined by 6.9%, the second-largest year-over-year decline of 2018 and the biggest year-over-year sales decline for November in five years. This year only April and July sales exceeded 2017 totals for the corresponding months.

The report also noted years of shrinking inventory gave way in November to a second consecutive month of year-over-year growth in the number of homes for sale. Across 53 metro areas surveyed, inventory rose by 3.0%, the highest monthly year-over-year gain in the 10-year history of the report, following October’s 1.0% increase that ended a streak of 119 months of year-over-year declines dating back to November 2008. The months’ supply of inventory rose to 3.9, the highest for any month since 4.2 in December 2016.

“The road to market normalization can be bumpy,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “It’s good to see the small uptick in inventory, and the drop in November sales isn’t too surprising, given the recent trends, the mid-term elections and the earlier-than-usual Thanksgiving holiday.”

RE/MAX reported November’s median sales price of $235,000 was 4.0% higher than a year ago, representing the highest November price in the report’s history. It marked the 32nd consecutive month of year-over-year price increases. Comparing the first 11 months of 2018 to 2017, home prices rose by 6.0%.

Even with declining sales, the report said homes sold at record speed for November. Homes spent an average of 51 days on market, compared to the previous November low of 54 days set last year.

“As we near year-end, three main themes appear clear–buyers are grappling with affordability issues and tight inventory; sellers are unsure how to react to the cooling market; and homes priced properly are still selling rather quickly,” Contos said.