Home/Mortgages/Home Sales Down in October, Still Higher than Last Year

November 18, 2011 (Jeff Alan)

Closed transactions of home purchases fell 9.8 percent from September to October but were still 9.0 percent higher than in October 2010 according to RE/MAX’s National Housing Report (NHR).

Thirty-eight out of the 53 metro areas in the report posted year-over-year increases in closed transactions. Last month 43 of the metro areas posted an increase in transactions. Albuquerque, NM (+36.1%), Minneapolis, MN (+34.3), Birmingham, AL (+32.9%), Des Moines, IA (+32.6%), Chicago, (+22.3%), Providence, RI (+21.0%) and Raleigh-Durham, NC (+20.5%) recorded the highest gains in closed transactions in October.

The median sales price of a home declined 2.0 percent from $183,762 in September to $176,770 in October and was 5.4 percent lower than the median sales price of $186,800 in October 2010.

Eleven of the 53 metro areas posted higher sales prices in October than they did a year earlier, down from 17 metro areas last month. The areas that posted the largest price gains were Detroit, MI (+11.5%), Omaha, NE (+10.0%), Orlando, FL (+6.7%), Des Moines, IA (+3.6%), and Houston, TX (+2.0%).

The average number of days it took to sell a home in October was 95, which was 2 days longer than the 93 days it took in September. The average month’s supply of inventory in October remained unchanged from September at 7.7 months, but was still down from a 9.7 months supply of homes in October 2010. September’s average month’s supply of inventory was upwardly revised from 7.4.

For all 53 metro areas, the average monthly inventory of homes for sale declined by 7.3 percent from September and was 21.0 percent lower than in October 2010. It was the 16th consecutive month that the supply of homes for sale has declined.

“It appears that home sales are coming more closely in line with the levels we saw last year, which should hold up through the winter months,” said Margaret Kelly, CEO of RE/MAX, LLC. “While it’s good to see sales still running higher than last year, at some point we would like to see prices rising higher than the previous year, as well.”

Tags: home sales, home prices, seasonal trends, closed transactions, median sales price