Curve

Home sales hit record speeds; inventory recovers in some metros

Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor

Fastest January on record

Homes are selling like hotcakes. According to a new report from real estate firm RE/MAX, last month was the fastest-selling January in the last nine years.

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Spring comes early

According to RE/MAX’s recent National Housing Report, January saw homes sell in just 60 days on market – the shortest of any January in the report’s nine-year span.

Adam Contos, CEO of RE/MAX, said this winter is shaping up to look more like spring and summer – at least in terms of home buying demand.

“We recently saw the groundhog predict six more weeks of winter, but January housing numbers are telling a different story,” Contos said. “It looks like the spring selling season may have arrived early because home buyers are not slowing down. The speed of this market is on pace with what we saw in the prime of the 2017 selling season.”

Don’t rule out home buying this holiday season

The month also set a record for the highest median sales price in the history of the report. January marked a 6.7 percent year-over-year increase and the 22nd month in a row that prices have risen. Billings, Montana, was the one metro area in the nation with a decrease, with prices dropping 6.4 percent since last year.

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Other January stats

The overall volume of home sales is down slightly over last January, though some markets posted serious gains. Milwaukee, for example, saw the average number of home sales jump 13.6 percent over the year. Other cities with above-12 percent gains included Albuquerque, New Mexico; Kansas City, Missouri; and Boise, Idaho.

Forecast predicts boost in housing inventory, sales in 2018

It seems inventory may be recovering in some areas, according to RE/MAX’s report. In Birmingham, Alabama, there’s an 8.2-month supply of homes on the market, and August, Maine, isn’t far behind with 7.5. A six-month supply is considered a healthy buyer’s market.

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