National Housing Report Reveals Increase in Home Sales and Median Prices, While Inventory Remains a Challenge

The latest national housing report for May brings positive news for the real estate market, showing a seasonal 20% increase in home sales compared to April. Additionally, new listings saw an 8.7% uptick during the same period. Although sales are still down by 18.7% compared to last May, solid demand combined with limited inventory has contributed to a 3.2% month-over-month increase in the median sales price, reaching $423,000.

Looking ahead to the peak home sales months of June and July, the report indicates a slight 0.4% increase in inventory compared to the previous month. Housing supply has risen by 9.7% compared to May 2022, providing some relief to the tight market conditions.

Nick Bailey, RE/MAX President & CEO, acknowledges the significant increase in May's home sales as a signal for the start of the peak selling season. However, the ongoing challenge remains the lack of inventory, posing difficulties for homebuyers. Bailey notes that the majority of homeowners have mortgage rates below 5%, resulting in fewer move-up activities and fewer listings for buyers to choose from. Despite these challenges, experienced agents are still finding solutions to meet the needs of their buyers and sellers.

While the national picture shows promising trends, specific local markets have their own dynamics. Seattle, Washington, for instance, experienced the largest decline in transactions year-over-year. According to John Manning, managing broker of RE/MAX Gateway in Seattle, the local housing market is characterized by strong demand and ultra-low supply. Homeowners in Seattle, benefiting from historically low-interest rates, perceive their homes as excellent long-term investments, reducing their motivation to sell.

Additional metrics from the report include:

  • May's median sales price of $423,000 was the highest since June 2022, trailing only $3,000 behind that month's figure of $426,000.
  • New listings in May showed a nearly 10% increase compared to April but were still down by 20.4% compared to May 2022 levels.
  • The Month' Supply of Inventory in May stood at 1.2, slightly lower than April's 1.3 but higher than the 1.1 recorded a year ago.
  • The average close-to-list price ratio for May was 100%, indicating that homes sold for the asking price on average. This marks an increase from April's 99% ratio but a decrease from the 103% ratio recorded a year ago.
  • Homes sold in May spent an average of 31 days on the market, which is three days less than in April but 10 days longer than in the same period last year.

Shifting focus to the Charlotte area, the median home sale price rose by 3% from April to May, reaching $398,000 according to the most recent data available from RE/MAX. Despite the month-over-month increase, May's median price remained below the figure recorded in May 2022, which stood at $405,000.

On the other hand, the median list price in Charlotte experienced a month-over-month decline of 1.9%, matching the median list price recorded at the same time in 2022, which was $410,000.

Houses in Charlotte spent an average of 32 days on the market in May, showing a decrease of 6.3% compared to April but a notable increase of 44.5% from May 2022.

Although active inventory in Charlotte fell by 2.6% month-over-month, it still marked a 27.6% increase from the same period last year, offering a slightly improved supply for potential buyers.

As the real estate market navigates through the ongoing challenges of inventory shortage and fluctuating prices, these insights provide valuable information for both buyers and sellers in Charlotte and across the nation.

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