U.S. home sales in August extended a summer of strong demand and weak inventory that once again resulted in listings with short shelf lives, according to new data from real estate seller RE/MAX.
In addition to the normal late summer real estate trends, a primary focus during the next month will be on housing in specific markets affected by natural disasters like devastating wildfires and hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
The RE/MAX National Housing Report shows August sales topping July by 2.8%, but finishing 0.84% below August 2016which remains the best August in the report’s 9-year history.
Houston, where Hurricane Harvey made landfall on August 25, already experienced a 21.3% drop in sales from July and a 27.5% decline year-over-year.
Inventory in the report’s 54 markets declined 3.9% from July and 13.7% from a year ago, driving Days on Market to drop to 47 – the fastest listing-to-sale average for any August.
The Months Supply of Inventory, while continuing to rebound from a May low of 2.6, settled at 3.1 months and set another report record for August.
“Overall, we’re still seeing home prices rise year-over-year at just above historical averages — even with slightly declining nationwide prices in August, which is an expected annual pattern,” said Adam Contos, RE/MAX Co-CEO. “The data shows that home hunters continue to experience very limited inventory and increased competition, and home sellers are benefiting from quick sales for top dollar.”
After hitting $239,950 in July, the median sales price dipped to $236,475 in August but still finished 5.4% higher year-over-year.