Reality is often based upon data but data is often measured differently. For example, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) measured September’s sales volume at +3.9%. RE/MAX, on the other hand, measured September’s sales volume in its latest National Housing Report to be +8.1%. The difference is that RE/MAX measured September’s sales volume as accompanied by an August-September decline of -17% while still being a less significant plunge of -24.4% m/m in September 2018.
RE/MAX posted September’s median price at $254,000. According to RE/MAX, this $254,000 median price represented an home value increase of +4.5% compared with September 2018 and a y/y average gain of +4.9% for 2019’s first nine months. NAR, on the other hand, indicated that September’s median price represented an annual increase of +6%.
Both NAR and RE/MAX agreed in their respective reporting that buyer demand outpaced sales, the result being the biggest inventory decline in more than a year. But here again, the statistics offered by each entity differed. NAR reported that inventory dropped -3% compared to September 2018 and RE/MAX reported that inventory dropped -6.1% from September 2018.
Despite these statistical differences in reporting, all the data point to slowing sales volume growth, continued low inventory and continued home price growth to rise due to increased demand and continuing low mortgage interest rates. Cheaper money = more purchasing power = higher home prices.
Adam Contos, the CEO of RE/MAX Holdings, said, publicly stated that he was encouraged by the improvement in September 2019 home sales compared to September 2018 sales results. “The market still poses some challenges for buyers – framed by rising prices and shrinking inventory – but we’re moving in the fourth quarter on much better footing than we had a year ago. As we begin to lap the end of the year and its persistent sales declines, the housing market momentum increases the chances of seeing more months of strong y/y gains in sales.”
Just to summarize NAR’s sales data for September 2019,
- Home sales increased +3.9% from one year ago.
- First-time buyers were responsible for 33% of all sales.
- Investors were responsible for 14% of all sales.
- All-cash buyers represented 17% of all sales.
- Distressed sales represented 2% of all sales.
- Existing home sales declined -2.2% nationally while the Midwest region of the country took the brunt of that decline.
Thanks to Alcynna Lloyd with HousingWire for source data.