DENVER, Aug. 20, 2012 // PRNewswire // -- 2012 has become the year of the housing recovery. The July RE/MAX National Housing Report follows the trend of every month this year, with increasing sales and increasing prices. July home sales are 10.3% higher than sales last July and year-over-year home sales have now risen for 13 consecutive months. Median home prices have now reached levels higher than the previous year for six months in a row, with an increase of 3.7% over July 2011. Inventory is now becoming a serious challenge to this recovering market, with available homes-for-sale falling 26.8% lower than the same month last year. Home sales could be much greater if more inventory was available, especially in the lower price range, where most sales are now occurring. With increased demand and shrinking inventory, the average Days on Market of homes sold in July was 82.
"It's reassuring that both sales and prices continue to rise higher on a yearly basis, indicating that this housing recovery is real," said Margaret Kelly, CEO of RE/MAX, LLC. "Overall, the picture is getting brighter each month, but what we need for a sustainable recovery is a turn-around in unemployment and better availability of mortgages, especially for higher priced homes."
Home sales appear to have peaked in June, with July sales down 9.4% from that level but still 10.3% above the number of sales in July 2011. July is the 13th consecutive month with sales higher than the same month in the previous year. With continuing mortgage rates at historic lows and the most attractive home prices in years, sellers and buyers are returning to this recovering market. Of the 53 metro areas surveyed, 44 saw higher sales than one year ago; 26 of those metro areas saw double digit increases, including: Providence, RI +38.1%, Albuquerque, NM +29.6%, Chicago, IL +29.5%, Boston, MA 25.7%, Nashville, TN +25.4%, and Milwaukee, WI +25.1%.
The Median Sales Price of homes sold in July was $169,000. This price marks a 3.7% increase over the median of July 2011, but is off fractionally from prices seen in June, down 0.6%. The annual increase of 3.7% marks the sixth month in a row with year-over-year increases. Of the 53 metro areas surveyed for the July RE/MAX National Housing Report, an impressive 42 reported price increases over last year, with 12 metro areas experiencing double-digit gains, including: Phoenix, AZ +33.1%, Boise, ID +22.1%, San Francisco, CA +20.6%, Little Rock, AR +14.5%, Detroit, MI +14.1%, and Las Vegas, NV +13.2%.
(Note: Median Sales Price is now being calculated as a straight median within and among all metro areas and is no longer being averaged.)
For all homes sold during the month of July, the average Days on Market was 82. This represents a drop of 2 days from the average in June and 6 days from July 2011. July represents the second month since September 2011 with a Days on Market below 90, and the lowest average since July 2010. The Days on Market average continues to fall in many markets due to low inventory. Days on Market is the number of days between first being listed in an MLS and when a sales contract is signed.
The inventory of homes-for-sale fell 5.4% from June and 26.8% from inventory levels seen in July 2011. Month-to-month inventories have now fallen for 25 consecutive months. A shrinking inventory is helping home prices rise, but may also be limiting sales. Given the current rate of sales, the average Months Supply is now 5.3, about two months lower than the 7.2 average seen in July 2011. Very low Months Supply continues to be seen in San Francisco, CA 1.2, Los Angeles, CA 1.8, Denver, CO 2.4, Orlando, FL 2.5, Phoenix, AZ and Miami, FL 3.1
RE/MAX was founded in 1973 by Dave and Gail Liniger, real estate industry visionaries who still lead the Denver-based global franchisor today. RE/MAX is recognized as a leading real estate franchisor with the most productive sales force in the industry and a global reach of more than 80 countries. With a passion for the communities in which its agents live and work, RE/MAX is proud to have raised more than $120 million for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals, Susan G. Komen for the Cure® and other charities. Nobody in the world sells more real estate than RE/MAX. Please visit www.remax.com or www.joinremax.com.
The RE/MAX National Housing Report is distributed each month on or about the 15th. The first Report was distributed in August 2008. The Report is based on MLS data in approximately 54 metropolitan areas, includes all residential property types, and is not annualized. For maximum representation, many of the largest metro areas in the country are represented, and an attempt is made to include at least one metro from each state. Metro area definitions include the specific counties established by the U.S. Government's Office of Management and Budget, with some exceptions.
Transactions are the total number of closed residential transactions during the given month. Month's Supply of Inventory is the total number of residential properties listed for sale at the end of the month (active inventory) divided by the number of sales contracts signed (pended) during the month. Where "pended" data is unavailable, this calculation is made using closed transactions. Days on Market is the number of days that pass from the time a property is listed until the property goes under contract for all residential properties sold during the month. Median Sales Price is the median price of all residential properties sold during the month.
MLS data is provided by contracted data aggregators, RE/MAX brokerages and regional offices. While MLS data is believed to be accurate, it cannot be guaranteed. MLS data is constantly being updated, making any analysis a snapshot at a particular time. Every month the RE/MAX National Housing Report re-calculates the previous period's data to ensure accuracy over time. All raw data remains the intellectual property of each local MLS organization.