Fast Pace of Existing Home Sales Fuels Seller’s Market

The market for existing homes tightened in North Phoenix and around the country in May, as prices continued a long-term climb in a real estate market that increasingly favors sellers, two new reports show.

Inventory of resale homes in the NoPho region of North Phoenix tightened in May, according to the monthly Real Estate Watch analysis out this week from North Phoenix News and In&Out Magazine. The months of available inventory declined in all five zones in the report, and most zones dipped significantly lower than the nationwide figure.

The inventory calculation is based on average sales rate of the previous six months. Less than six months is considered a seller’s market. NoPho inventory ranged from 2.1 to 4.7 months in the various zones. Details for each zone can be found here:

The average price in NoPho was higher than the same month last year in all zones except one. However, prices were down compared to April in four of the five zones. Given the relatively small number of homes sold in each region, swings from month-to-month can be affected by a handful of home sales at the low or high end of the price spectrum.

The total number of homes sold in NoPho declined from 187 in April to 173 in May. Demand remains high, however. Real estate agents report getting multiple offers on desirable homes in NoPho, and in particular lower-priced homes are selling swiftly.

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Nationwide: ‘Extremely Fast Pace’

Sales of existing homes rose 1.1 percent nationally in May, compared to a decline the previous month, the National Association of Realtors reported today. The pace in May was 2.7 percent higher than the same month last year.

Those statistical shifts don’t fully represent the hectic pace and market pressures, however.

Homes sold in May were on the market an average of just 27 days, down from 29 days in April and 32 days last May, according to the NAR analysis.

“Those able to close on a home last month are probably feeling both happy and relieved,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Listings in the affordable price range are scarce, homes are coming off the market at an extremely fast pace and the prevalence of multiple offers in some markets are pushing prices higher.”

Total inventory across the country rose (loosened, that is) 2.1 percent in May compared to April but is still 8.4 percent lower than a year ago, NAR finds. Inventory has fallen year-over-year for 24 consecutive months and stands at a 4.2-month supply, down from 4.7 months in May 2016.

“Current demand levels indicate sales should be stronger, but it’s clear some would-be buyers are having to delay or postpone their home search because low supply is leading to worsening affordability conditions,” Yun said.

The median existing-home price for all housing types in May was $252,800, up 5.8 percent from a year ago and the 63rd straight month of year-over-year gains.

U.S. Data: May 2013 to May 2017

median price nationally

Robert Roy Britt

NoPho resident Robert Roy Britt has written for In&Out publications since its inception in 2005. Britt began his journalism career in New Jersey newspapers in the early 1990s. He later became a science writer and was editor-in-chief of the online media sites Space.com and Live Science. He has written four novels.


Robert Roy Britt on Email

Robert Roy Britt

NoPho resident Robert Roy Britt has written for In&Out publications since its inception in 2005. Britt began his journalism career in New Jersey newspapers in the early 1990s. He later became a science writer and was editor-in-chief of the online media sites Space.com and Live Science. He has written four novels.

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