Realtor.com®’s September data shows a continuing decline in listing inventory, while growth in asking prices has stabilized and the typical property is selling almost as quickly as last year.
The nationwide median home list price was $305,000, 4.3 percent higher than a year ago. However, price growth is slower than last September, when the median list price grew by 7.3 percent. The median list price in September fell by 0.9 percent compared to August. Typically, listing prices remain fairly stable between August and September. This drop in listing prices from August to September is the highest on record since 2012.
The median age of properties on realtor.com in September reached 65 days. The typical property spent one more day on the market compared to last September and two more than last month, in keeping with the seasonal trend of buying activity slowing in the fall. Despite the slight uptick in time spent on the market over the year, this is still the second fastest selling pace for September on record since 2012.
The nation’s inventory of homes for sale continued to decline in September, dropping by 2.5 percent over the past year. This points to a slight downward acceleration from last month, when inventory fell 1.8 percent year-over- year. September inventory also declined by 0.2 percent from August, in keeping with the seasonal trend.
The desire for affordability continues to push down the inventory for homes listed for less than $200,000, which fell by 9.8 percent year-over-year in September. Moreover, the inventory of homes priced between $200,000 and $750,000, which had been increasing since April of last year, has finally hit a tipping point in September, showing no growth over the past year, and is expected to decline into October. Meanwhile, the inventory of homes listed for over $750,000 continues to grow, by 4.7 percent over the past year. Unlike the starter home and mid-market, more expensive homes actually saw inventory growth accelerate slightly, up from 4.1 percent year over year in August However, if strong homebuying demand, fueled by lower interest rates, continues to persist into the fall, it is likely that the inventory of homes in this price category could also see declines by February of next year.
The inventory of homes for sale declined most in the Northeast, dropping by 10.6 percent over the past year, followed by the Midwest with a 4.2 percent decline, and the South with a 1.5 percent decline. Although inventory is still growing in the West, growth has slowed from a rate of 7.0 percent year-over-year in August to 4.9 percent in September. Again, if market trends persist, it is likely that the West will also see a decline in inventory within the next four months.
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