The housing market has been having a good year, outside of a few dips here and there. Prices in most markets have continued to rise as sellers find themselves in an atmosphere where the demand for homes outpaces the supply. In what has become almost expected by analysts, sales of existing homes have risen year-over-year for the past 11 months. This pace of growth that hasn’t been seen since before the last economic downturn.
At the end of 2014, the housing market was still recovering. According to data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), sales of existing homes were down more than 3% from the previous year, but the national median price for existing homes hit a 7-year high of $209,500. The news was a harbinger of good things to come for 2015.
In January, the national median price for existing homes dropped down to $199,600. Median prices for existing homes were highest in the West ($291,800) and lowest in the Midwest ($151,300). A rough winter kept the market down in January, but sales rose in February, sending the median price of existing homes to $202,600. The share of first-time buyers also increased from the previous month to 29%. It was the first increase in first-time buyers since November 2014.
As the weather warmed up, so did the housing market. The median price for existing homes was up to $234,000 in July. In the 5 months from February to July, the median price for existing single-family homes increased by more than $30,000 to $235,500. Existing homes in the West reached a median sales price of $327,400, and only the Midwest had a median price below $200,000 at $186,500.
August kept the trend of a hot housing market for sellers. The national median price for existing homes dipped slightly to $228,700, and the seasonally adjusted annual rate of homes sold fell from 5.58 million units the previous month to 5.31 million units. As we reported previously, the inventory of homes was down to 5.2 months’ supply from 5.6 months’ supply in July. First-time buyers were nearly a third of the buying power in the country in August at 32%, a jump of 3% from the same time last year and a 4% jump from July.
With just 3 months left in the year, do you see home prices pushing higher, or do you think the winter months will put a damper on the market? Let us know by leaving a comment.