The national median home sale price surpassed $300,000 for the first time on record
The national median home sale price increased 7.6 percent in April from a year ago, to a median of $302,200. This is the first time the national median home price has surpassed the $300,000 mark across the 174 markets that Redfin tracks. While April posted solid growth in home sales, up 5.2 percent from last year, home sales from January through April were just 1.5 percent higher than the same period last year.
The number of homes newly listed for sale in April rose 5.7 percent, a welcome sign for buyers after a lackluster number of new listings went on the market in the first three months of 2018. Unfortunately, the new listings were not sufficient to overcome the inventory shortage. The supply of homes for sale declined 9.2 percent year over year in April.
Competition escalated as buyers vied for a limited number of properties–just 2.8 months of supply remained at the end of the month compared to the six months that generally signals a balanced market.
The typical home that sold last month went under contract in 36 days, six days faster than a year earlier and faster than any month Redfin has recorded going back to 2010. Among homes that sold last month, 26.2 percent sold above their list price, up from 24.9 percent last April. The average sale-to-list price ratio was 98.8 percent, also the highest on record.
“Despite rising prices and low inventory, sales in 2018 so far are slightly higher than last year, which was the best year on record since the 2006 housing boom,” said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson. “As we enter peak homebuying season, new listings will be key in maintaining sales growth and moderating the rapid price increases we’ve seen this year.”
For the sixth month in a row, San Jose topped the nation with price growth over 25 percent. The supply of San Jose homes fell 30.1 percent year over year.
Michigan metros stood out in April for competition and price growth. Detroit was second to San Jose in price growth, up 21.2 percent year over year. Homes in Grand Rapids sold just as fast as homes in San Jose, spending a mere nine median days on market. Both Detroit and Grand Rapids were among the metros with highest year-over-year growth in home sales, up 18.3 percent in Grand Rapids and 15.5 percent in Detroit.
“Detroit and Grand Rapids are no different than other cities dealing with low inventory. In addition, buyers are pouring in from the east coast, west coast and Chicago, which is adding to the demand,” said Kent Selders, Redfin market manager in Michigan.
“Our region is experiencing a great resurgence and the economy is diversifying with new companies moving in and expanding thanks to the affordable cost of doing business and ample workforce. As home prices rise, it can be tough for local buyers to compete with buyers from elsewhere who have reverse sticker shock and loaded pockets from selling a home in San Francisco, Boston or Chicago.”
Other April Highlights
Denver, CO was the fastest market, with half of all homes pending sale in just 6 days, the same pace for Denver in April of last year. Seattle, WA was the next fastest market with 7 median days on market, followed by San Jose, CA, Grand Rapids, MI and Tacoma, WA at 9 days.
The most competitive market in April was San Jose, CA where 84.6% of homes sold above list price, followed by 78.6% in San Francisco, CA, 74.6% in Oakland, CA, 64.0% in Seattle, WA, and 50.8% in Tacoma, WA.
San Jose, CA had the nation’s highest price growth, rising 26.2% since last year to $1,210,000. Detroit, MI had the second highest growth at 21.2% year-over-year price growth, followed by Las Vegas, NV (17%), Seattle, WA (14.7%), and Tacoma, WA (13.4%).
No metros that have a population of at least 750,000 had price declines in April.
12 out of 73 metros saw sales surge by double digits from last year. Louisville, KY led the nation in year-over-year sales growth, up 20.5%, followed by Grand Rapids, MI, up 18.3%. Detroit, MI rounded out the top three with sales up 15.5% from a year ago.
Allentown, PA saw the largest decline in sales since last year, falling 15.7%. Home sales in Long Island, NY and Rochester, NY declined by 14.0% and 12.8%, respectively.
Indianapolis, IN had the largest decrease in overall inventory, falling 42.1% since last April. Rochester, NY (-41.1%), Buffalo, NY (-37.5%), and San Jose, CA (-30.1%) also saw far fewer homes available on the market than a year ago.
Baton Rouge, LA had the highest increase in the number of homes for sale, up 24.6% year over year, followed by Portland, OR (22.7%) and Allentown, PA (20.7%).
To see trends in sellers’ pricing strategies, we compare the list price to the Redfin Estimate, Redfin’s automated home-value estimate with the industry’s lowest published error rate for listed homes.
The median list price-to-Redfin Estimate ratio was 92.5% in San Francisco, CA, the lowest of any market. This indicates the typical home for sale in April was listed at 93.7% of its estimated value. Only 6.3% of homes in San Francisco, CA were listed for more than their Redfin Estimate.
Conversely, the median list price-to-Redfin Estimate ratio was 102.5% in Miami, FL and 102.2% in West Palm Beach, FL, which means sellers are listing their homes for more than the estimated value in those metro areas. In Miami, FL, 85.1% of homes were listed above their Redfin Estimate, the highest percentage of any metro.
Below are market-by-market breakdowns for prices, inventory, new listings and sales for markets Redfin serves that have populations of 750,000 or more. For downloadable data on all of the markets Redfin tracks, visit the Redfin Data Center.
Written by Alina Ptaszynski on May 17, 2018
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