DENVER – A sixth consecutive month of declining home sales in January contributed to the largest year-over-year inventory increase in at least 10 years, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report.
While year-over-year home sales dropped 11% – extending a streak that began in August – inventory grew year-over-year by an average of 6.4% across the report’s 54 U.S. metro areas. January marked the fourth consecutive month of year-over-year inventory growth – further reversing a decade-long trend of shrinking inventory. December 2018’s year-over-year inventory growth of 4.7% was the previous record in the report’s 10-year history.
“The winter chill extended to the housing market in January, as home sales remained cool,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “The good news is that inventory levels in January continued to rise on a year-over-year basis, providing incremental improvement in what’s been a multi-year shortage of for-sale homes. This is a positive for homebuyers, as the market continues to swing their way.”
The median sales price of $234,000 was a report record for January, increasing 4.6% over January 2018. But the rate of sales price increase was considerably less than the 6.7% posted from January 2017 to January 2018. December 2018 was the only month since January 2012 to show a year-over-year decline in median sales price.
Fifty-nine days on market was a record low for January sold listings – averaging one day less than the 60 posted in January 2018. January’s 3.9-month supply of inventory was higher than the 3.4-month supply of January 2018.
“Underlying demand remains solid overall, as evidenced by widespread price increases,” said Contos. “So the housing market, while not markedly busy in January, remains relatively healthy. Furthermore, with interest rates stabilizing and home-price increases slowing, the spring selling season shapes up to be as interesting as any we have seen in years.”