June 15, 2011 (Brian Moore)
Home sales and home prices are trending in a positive direction reflecting more normal seasonal trends as home prices edged up for the third month in a row by 3.7 percent in May compared to April and closed transactions also increased by 3.3 percent according to RE/MAX’s National Housing Report (NHR).
This year’s spring selling season couldn’t have come soon enough after a disappointing and dismal winter with current marketing data suggesting that the housing market may have hit bottom sometime after the first of year.
However, RE/MAX reports we may not be out of the woods yet, as financing requirements, poor appraisals, unemployment and uncertainty about the economy may hold the market back despite the positive month-to-month data that has pointed to an improving, though uneven, market recovery.
“Home sales activity appears to be coming back in line with the seasonal trends we would expect to see this time of year,” said Margaret Kelly, RE/MAX CEO. “It’s a very good sign that prices are starting to rise on a monthly basis. This may indicate that we’ve turned the corner and are headed in a positive direction.”
Closed transactions were 3.3 percent higher in May than April but were still 13.6 percent below the levels observed in May of 2010. Forty-two out of the 53 metro areas in the report experienced month-over-month increases in closed transactions. Phoenix (+10.9) and Miami (+10.2) lead the survey with double digit increases.
Sales prices in May were 3.7 percent higher than in April, but were 7.2 percent lower than May 2010. The median sales price in May 2011 was $183,815 which compares to a median sales price of $198,119 in May of 2010.
Forty-five of the 53 metro areas experienced price increases month-over-month, with two metro areas reporting unchanged prices. The best pricing performers were Providence, RI (+10.2%), Cleveland (+9.9%), Miami (+9.8%), Birmingham (+9.5%), and Kansas City (+9.2%).
The average number of days it took to sell a home in May was 94, which was down from 98 days in April. Inventory declined slightly as there was a 6.9 month supply of homes on the market in May compared to a 7.1 months supply in April.
Tags: RE/MAX, home sales, home prices, National Housing Report, spring selling season, market recovery, seasonal trends, financing requirements, poor appraisals, closed transactions