Sales in July and August broke the seasonal summer sales pattern, which normally declines with the end of the traditional home buying season in June. Instead, the hottest month this also produced sales hotter than 2010.
Breaking year over year sales in the wake of last year’s tax credit may not mean much but RE/MAX’s August report, based on a survey of 53 U.S. metropolitan areas, says its August numbers show sales reached a level 18 percent higher than August 2010 and prices are stabilizing even though prices trail 2010 by 3.6 percent.
The inventory of homes-for-sale dropped for the 14th consecutive month, while total inventory remains almost 19 percent below the level in August 2010, according to the survey.
“We’re pleased to see transactions pushing higher in August and without any artificial stimulus,” said Margaret Kelly, CEO of RE/MAX, LLC. “Although the housing recovery will continue to be uneven, the market is struggling to return to normal despite uncertainty in the economy and stubborn unemployment rates.”
Closed transactions in the month of August were 3.7 percent higher than July and 18.0 percent higher than August 2010. Unlike June, both July and August home sales were up double digits from 2010. Of the 53 metro areas surveyed, 47 experienced a rise in Home Sales from 2010, most notably: Pittsburgh, PA 60.6 percent, Minneapolis, MN +48.4 percent, Albuquerque, NM +43.0 percent, Milwaukee, WI +37.1 percent, Seattle, WA +29.4 percent, Phoenix, AZ +26.4% and Chicago, IL +25.7 percent.
The Median Sales Price for August was just 0.6 percent below the price in July and 3.6 percent below the price in August 2010. Home prices have risen in 4 of the last 8 months, while on a year-over-year basis, the Median Price has improved for 5 consecutive months.