July Home Sales Ignite Momentum for Back Half of 2019
Following an unseasonal decline in home sales in June, July home sales bounced back ending a nine month climb of year-over-year inventory growth, according to the July 2019 RE/MAX National Housing Report. Low-interest rates appear to have brought more buyers into the mix leading to cautious optimism about the momentum for the remainder of 2019 and a strong finish to the year.
“The housing market has been a bit uneven since the early spring, with each encouraging month seemingly followed by one with lukewarm results. It’s possible the housing market has finally shaken some mud off its boots and can maintain its momentum for the back half of the year,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos.
While lower interest rates help affordability and may entice homebuyers to begin their home search, accelerating price increases dampen options for buyers and may leave sellers hanging onto their properties longer than expected. Home prices have risen, year over year, in 88 of the last 90 months dating back to February 2012. Nevertheless, it’s encouraging that record prices have not hindered a strong summer selling season in July.
Ongoing demand and favorable mortgage rates will be an indicator of progress as we inch closer to year-close. Here are some highlights of the latest data found in the RE/MAX National Housing Report:
- Home prices continue to soar.
Despite a 0.7% decrease in Median Sales Price from June 2019, the median of all 53 metro Median Sales Prices was up over 9% from July 2018. In fact, five metro areas increased year-over-year by double-digit percentages with the largest increases seen in Wichita, KS, Cleveland, OH and Cincinnati, OH.
- Inventory Remains Constricted Despite Months of Growth.
The number of homes for sale in July 2019 was down 2.2% from June 2019 and down 1.4% from July 2018. Based on the rate of home sales in July 2019, the Months Supply of Inventory decreased to 2.7 compared to 2.9 in June 2019, and decreased compared to 3.3 in July 2018. A six months supply indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers.
- Home sales snapped back.
A drop in home sales from June to July is typical in the report’s 53 metro areas. But the 0.2% decline from June to July 2019 was by far the smallest month-over-month decline since July 2013. And while June sales failed to top May for only the second time in the report’s 10-year history, July sales set a report record for the month.