Home Sales Constrained by Less Inventory, Price Appreciation










Home sales in January were lower than a year earlier due to tight inventory and higher home prices, according to Re/Max.

January home sales were 3.9% less than a year ago and fell 32.1% from the month before, the Denver-based real estate brokerage company revealed. Out of 53 metropolitan cities surveyed, 13 reported higher sales year over year, including Baltimore, Nashville, Tampa, Birmingham, Ala., Wilmington, Del., and Augusta, Maine.

For all homes sold in January, the median sales price was $189,000, which is 3.3% lower than December. However, because of constrained inventory, this price tag is 11.2% more than a year ago. Some notable cities with the greatest median sales prices are Detroit, Omaha, Denver, Dallas, and Minneapolis and Fargo, N.D.

Furthermore, Re/Max said it took about 80 days to sell all homes in January, which is six days more than the average in both December and January of last year.

Meanwhile, the inventory of homes for sale in January was 10.9% less than the same time period a year earlier and a 5.2% decline than December’s inventory. The months’ supply of inventory fell to 5.2 on a scale with 6 indicating a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers.

“As we saw last year, home sales started rather slow, but rebounded during the prime selling months,” said Dave Liniger, chief executive, chairman and co-founder of Re/Max. “In fact, 2014 ended with 4.9 million sales of existing homes, which we believe represents a sustainable rate of growth. So, we still need a few more months of data to tell how this market will perform in 2015.”

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