May 22nd, 2019 11:21 AM by Sharon Mason
April home sales finished just 1.1% below a year ago as selling times shortened and tight inventory held steady, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report. Meanwhile, April’s median home price of $251,000 in the report’s 54 markets was up a mere 2.1% - the smallest year-over-year April increase in eight years.
April’s year-over-year sales decline of 1.1% marked the ninth consecutive month of year-over-year decreases, but April’s sales dip was the smallest during that time. At the same time, inventory increased 4.8% and marked the seventh consecutive month of year-over-year growth in number of homes for sale.
Compared to March, home sales in April sped up by a full week, taking an average of 52 days instead of 59. The average in April 2018 was 51 days. The Months Supply of Inventory in April decreased year-over-year from 3.0 to 2.6.
While the March-over-February increase in home sales of 28.8% was the smallest in five years, the April-over-March increase of 11.2% was an April-over-March record for the 10-year history of the report.
“April’s home sales blossomed, suggesting the typical seasonal jump in spring sales arrived later than usual this year,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “Solid buyer interest and sellers with realistic price expectations advanced the market’s march toward equilibrium last month. That said, inventory remains constricted, and prices continue to climb, albeit at a slower rate. All in all, April’s results were encouraging, and we continue to be cautiously optimistic about the prospects of a healthy spring selling season.”
Of the 54 metro areas surveyed in April 2019, the overall average number of home sales is up 11.2% compared to March 2019, and down 1.1% compared to April 2018. Leading the month-over-month sales percentage increase were Augusta, ME, at +30.4%, Des Moines, IA, at +23.6%, and Milwaukee, WI, at +22.9%.
Median Sales Price – Median of 54 metro median prices
In April 2019, the median of all 54 metro Median Sales Prices was $251,000, up 2.1% from March 2019, and up 2.1% from April 2018. Three metro areas saw a year-over-year decrease in Median Sales Price: San Francisco, CA, at -1.4%, Seattle, WA, at -1.0%, and Anchorage, AK, at -0.3%. Four metro areas increased year-over-year by double-digit percentages, with the largest gains in Boise, ID, at +14.8% and Birmingham, AL, at +13.8%.
Days on Market – Average of 54 metro areas
The average Days on Market for homes sold in April 2019 was 52, down seven days from the average in March 2019, and up one day from the April 2018 average. The metro areas with the lowest Days on Market were Omaha, NE, at 27, and Denver, CO, and San Francisco, CA, both at 30. The highest Days on Market averages were in Augusta, ME, at 116, Hartford, CT, at 89, and Miami, FL, at 86. Days on Market is the number of days between when a home is first listed in an MLS and a sales contract is signed.
Months Supply of Inventory – Average of 54 metro areas
The number of homes for sale in April 2019 was up 3.3% from March 2019 and up 4.8% from April 2018. Based on the rate of home sales in April 2019, the Months Supply of Inventory decreased to 2.6 from 2.9 in March 2019, and decreased compared to 3.0 in April 2018. A six months supply indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers. In April 2019, of the 54 metro areas surveyed, only Miami, FL, at 6.3 reported a months supply at or over six, which is typically considered a buyer’s market. The markets with the lowest Months Supply of Inventory were Boise, ID, Denver, CO, Manchester, NH, and Omaha, NE, all at 1.2.
Sharon Mason, Associate Broker