Now that we have experienced a summer that was defined by buyer demand and increasing prices, the real estate market is forming to be its hottest in 10 years according to new monthly data on inventory and demand provided by Realtor.com. Homes for sale in the month of September are moving 4% faster than last year regardless of prices continuing to rise.
On Realtor.com, the median age of listings, which indicates the inventory on the market, was expected to be 77 days for the month of September – three days less than last year in 2015. Total inventory levels are still lower than last year with less than 450,000 new listings coming on the market in September.
The median home price has increased by 9% over 2015 as it continues this year’s record setting trend by marking a new high for September.
“House hunters who were shut out this summer because of fierce competition could fare better this fall, with more opportunities to buy and mortgage rates still near all-time lows,” says Jonathan Smoke, realtor.com® chief economist. “But don’t expect bargains—prices haven’t come down from this summer’s record highs. Overall, the fundamental trends we have been seeing all year remain solidly in place as we enter the traditionally slower sales season, and pent-up demand remains substantial as buyers seek to get a home under contract while rates remain so low.”
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, shared that the suffering supply levels have taken the momentum out of the housing market experienced earlier this year. “Contract activity slackened throughout the country in August except for in the Northeast, where higher inventory totals are giving home shoppers greater options and better success signing a contract,” he said.
Following last month’s decline, Yun anticipates existing-home sales in 2016 to be around 5.36 million, a 2.1 percent increase from 2015 and the highest annual pace since 2006 (6.48 million). The national median existing-home price growth is predicted this year to rise around 4 percent.
As average rates are still hovering at all time lows coupled with strong demand, the real estate market for fall is a prime time to buy and sell.