Home/Mortgages/List Prices Hold Steady in October

November 19, 2012 (Chris Moore)

Not much changed in the housing market from September to October as housing inventory remained near historic lows and the prices homeowners listed their properties for remained almost unchanged according to the latest housing data of 146 metro areas released by Realtor.com.

The total number of existing homes for sale fell 2.58 percent from September with 1,756,818 single-family homes, condos, townhomes, and co-ops listed for sale in October compared to 1,803,347 in September. Compared to a year ago, there were 17.00 percent fewer homes available for purchase.

The median list price for an existing home in October was $189,900, down 0.83 percent from $191,500 in September and unchanged from October of last year.

Sacramento, CA, knocked off the Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc, CA, area as the most improved area in year-over-year list prices with a 31.01 percent increase.

The Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc, CA, area, which had held the top spot for the previous four months, came in second with a year-over-year gain in list prices of 27.03 percent. The Phoenix-Mesa, AZ, area was bumped down to the third slot after three months at number two with a 25.57 percent increase from a year ago.

The San Jose, CA, area was next with a 20.49 percent increase in its annual median list price while Oakland rounded out the top five with a year-over-year increase of 17.49 percent.

Peoria-Pekin, IL, regained its title of having the largest decline in year-over-year list prices after a one-month hiatus with an 11.48 percent decline followed by last month’s leader Charleston, WV. where prices fell 9.69 percent below last year’s levels.

Rounding out the bottom five was Reading PA, with an 7.84 percent decline, followed by the Tyler, TX, area with a 7.26 percent decline and the Chicago, IL, area where annual list prices declined by 5.85 percent.

List prices are not necessarily indicative of selling prices, but may signal market sentiment by sellers. All together, thirty of the areas saw an increase in year-over-year list prices, down from 86 the previous month. Thirty-two areas were unchanged from the previous year.

The average number of days that an existing home spent on the market increased to 97 in October from 95 in September but was still down from 110 days in October of last year. Forty-six out of the 146 metropolitan areas required 100 days or more to sell a home, up from 42 in September.

Residents selling their homes in the southern region of South Carolina continued to wait the longest to sell their homes, averaging 161 days on the market, down from 164 days the previous month. Residents in Oakland had the shortest wait for the 13th consecutive month, averaging 21 days on the market, unchanged from the previous month.

Tags: housing inventory, listed homes, home prices, median sales price, average list price