Home Sales Fall For First Time In 15 Months

Home sales dropped 6% year-over-year in August, down 1.4% from July, a Redfin report found. It’s the first annual decline in home sales in 15 months.

But prices are still high, up 16% year-to-year. Median prices increased in almost all of the largest metros tracked by Redfin, though Milwaukee, WI, and Bridgeport, CT both declined. The median price nationally for homes sold was $380,271. Austin, Phoenix, and Salt Lake City saw the largest spikes in their median prices, up 36%, 25%, and 24%, respectively.

“When it comes to home prices in this market, what goes up stays up. That’s especially true in the Sun Belt; home prices are up more than 20% from last year in Austin and Phoenix,” Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather said.

“Even with these steep increases, homes in these areas are still relatively affordable, so these and other hot migration destinations are going to continue to attract homebuyers from the coasts. As workers change jobs en masse and enhanced unemployment benefits come to an end, we could see even more households relocate for affordability in the coming months.”

This news tracks a new report from Realtor.com showing homes are spending more time on the market than a year ago. Typically homes sell more quickly in the summer months, then spend more time on the market beginning in the fall. But Realtor.com reports the time on the market increased in both July and August over the previous month.

Plus, new listings saw their first annual decline since February. Active listings fell 19% year-over-year, and new listings fell 6%, the first decline since February. Only four cities added to their housing stock: Austin, TX (+5%), Virginia Beach, VA (+4%), Columbus (+3%), and Milwaukee (+1%). Baton Rouge, LA (-53%), North Port, FL (-44%), and West Palm Beach, FL (-37%) saw the largest declines.

Here are some more highlights from the report:

  • New Orleans (-23%), Salt Lake City (-16%), and Warren, MI (-14%) had the most significant drops in sales year-over-year.
  • Average Days on the market: 16 (down from 31 days YOY, up from 15 in June)
  • Homes sold above list price: 52% (+20% YOY, -4% from June)
  • Fastest Market: Indianapolis, with half of homes pending sale in 5 days
  • Most competitive market: Oakland, CA, where 82.3% of homes sold above list price
  • Highest YOY sales growth: New York (+64.8%)
  • Largest YOY Inventory Increase: Austin, TX (+5.5%)