October National Housing Report

November 16, 2020

For the first time since 2009, homes sold faster in October than the preceding summer peak season, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report. And across 52 markets, the average of 38 days from listing to contract marked the fastest pace of any month in the report’s 13-year history.

Defying seasonality in a year upended by the pandemic, October sales were the third-highest year-to-date. Home sales were slightly up compared to September 2020 (+0.1%), and 20.8% ahead of October 2019. The Median Sales Price of $295,000, which was 0.9% higher than September’s median price and 15.4% higher year-over-year, set a report record for October.

“The housing market continued its remarkable run in October, driven by high demand and historically low interest rates. Buyers, many of them freed from the constraints of having to live close to work, are jumping into the market and looking for homes that have what they want – a home office, more outdoor space, or whatever else it might be,” said Adam Contos, CEO of RE/MAX Holdings, Inc.

“The short turnaround times are telling, too. Buyers are ready to act as soon as they see the right home. Sellers who want to get through the process quickly, without having to move much on price, have a great opportunity to do so right now. That advantage should bring more listings into the market in the months ahead, but with inventory levels as low as they are, it will likely be a while before we see anything resembling a balanced market.”

Reflecting an abundance of home buyers and a shortage of sellers, inventory fell 32.5% year-over-year to set another report record.

October’s average Days on Market of 38 was one day less than September and down 11 days year-over-year. The average Months Supply of Inventory at 1.7 tied July and August for the smallest in report history, with a handful of markets reporting less than a one-month supply.

Highlights and the local markets leading various metrics include:

Closed Transactions 

Of the 52 metro areas surveyed in October 2020, the overall average number of home sales was up 0.1% compared to September 2020, and up 20.8% compared to October 2019.  Leading the year-over-year sales percentage increase were Hartford, CT at +41.3%, Wichita, KS at +33.9%, and Chicago, IL at +33.4%.

Median Sales Price – Median of 52 metro median prices

In October 2020, the median of all 52 metro Median Sales Prices was $295,000, up 0.9% from September 2020, and up 15.4% from October 2019. No metro area saw a year-over-year decrease in Median Sales Price. Forty-eight metro areas increased year-over-year by double-digit percentages, led by Augusta, ME at +29.1%, Tulsa, OK at +20.5%, and Cincinnati, OH at +20.4%.

Days on Market – Average of 52 metro areas

The average Days on Market for homes sold in October 2020 was 38, down one day from the average in September 2020, and down 11 days from the average in October 2019. The metro areas with the lowest Days on Market were Cincinnati, OH at 18, Boise, ID at 20, and Nashville, TN at 21. The highest Days on Market averages were in Miami, FL at 89, Des Moines, IA at 86, and New York, NY at 74. Days on Market is the number of days between when a home is first listed in an MLS and a sales contract is signed.

Months Supply of Inventory – Average of 52 metro areas

The number of homes for sale in October 2020 was down 7.6% from September 2020 and down 32.5% from October 2019. Based on the rate of home sales in October 2020, the Months Supply of Inventory decreased to 1.7 compared to 1.9 in September 2020, and decreased compared to 3.6 in October 2019. A six months supply indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers. In October 2020, of the 52 metro areas surveyed, zero metro areas reported a months supply at or over six, which is historically considered a buyer’s market. The markets with the lowest Months Supply of Inventory were Boise, ID at 0.5, a two-way tie between Albuquerque, NM and Manchester, NH at 0.7, and a four-way tie between Phoenix, AZCharlotte, NCDenver, CO, and Omaha, NE at 0.9.


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