June 19, 2012 (Jeff Alan)

What a difference a month makes as home sales soared in May following April’s flat performance according to RE/MAX’s National Housing Report (NHR) with home sales increasing by nearly 13 percent from the previous month and home prices posting a solid gain, staying above last year’s prices for the fourth consecutive month,

Closed transactions of home purchases increased 12.6 percent from April to May and were 12.8 percent higher than in May 2011, the eleventh consecutive month home sales have increased year-over-year.

Forty-eight out of the 53 metro areas in the report posted year-over-year increases in closed transactions, up from 39 metro areas in April. Burlington, VT (+39.3%), Albuquerque, NM (+35.8%), Boston, MA (+29.3%), Chicago, IL (+28.1%), Nashville, TN (+27.1%), and Raleigh-Durham, NC (+25.7%) recorded the highest year-over-year gains in closed transactions in May. In all, 38 metro areas saw double digit increases.

The median sales price of homes sold in May was 4.1 percent higher than in the previous month of April, increasing from $161,000 to $166,500. The median sales price was 6.1 percent higher than the median price of $156,990 in May of 2011. It was the fourth consecutive month that home prices have increased year-over-year following 18 months of declines.

Forty-six of the 53 metro areas posted higher sales prices in May than they did a year earlier, up from 43 metro areas the previous month. The areas that posted the largest price gains during the month were Phoenix, AZ (+34.5%), Detroit, MI (+23.1%), Boise, ID (+23.0%), Denver, CO (+14.8%),Miami, FL (+14.3%), and San Francisco, CA (+11.9%).

The average number of days it took to sell a home in May was 92, four days less than in April. The average month’s supply of inventory in May was 4.9, down from a 5.3 month’s supply in April and down from a 6.9 months supply of homes in May 2011.

Housing supplies continued to dwindle with the average monthly inventory of homes for sale declining by 4.2 percent from April and 26.6 percent from May 2011. It was the 23rd consecutive month that the supply of homes for sale has declined.

Margaret Kelly, CEO of RE/MAX, LLC., stated, “Clearly, 2012 is the year the housing industry has been waiting for; there’s a broad-based recovery taking hold. This recovery may not bring improvement in all sectors to all markets at the same time, but most markets across the country are experiencing the best selling season they’ve seen in years.”

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