Source: Wall Street Journal
Median asking prices hit their highest level in 2½ years in May, the latest sign that sellers are feeling brighter about their prospects amid slimmer pickings of homes listed for sale.
Median asking prices rose to $194,400, up 1.9% from April and 3.2% from one year ago, according to data released Wednesday by Realtor.com. Meanwhile, home listings increased by 2% from April, a slower-than-normal seasonal jump, and they stood 20% below their levels of year ago.
Reduced competition for sellers is making it easy for them to push the envelope on price. Compare May’s report with that of one year ago, when median asking prices in May 2011 fell by 1.6% from April 2011.
Meanwhile, the median amount of time that homes listed for sale had been on the market fell to 83 days, down by 9.8% from one year ago.
Here’s a closer look at the report:
Inventory: The number of homes for sale fell in all but two of the 146 markets tracked by Realtor.com on an annual basis, with inventory rising by 5% in Philadelphia and by 19% in Shreveport, La.
Nearly half of all markets saw a 20% year-over-year drop in the number of homes listed for sale, led by Oakland, Calif. (down 56.6%); Fresno, Calif. (48.8%); Bakersfield, Calif. (48.6%); Phoenix (44.7%) and Seattle (42.7%).
On a monthly basis, around three quarters of markets say inventories rise in May.
Prices: On an annual basis, asking prices fell in 24 markets, led by Reading, Pa. (down 5.4%); Allentown, Pa. (5.3%); and Milwaukee, Wis. (5.2%). The largest year-over-year jumps in median asking prices were reported in Phoenix (up 32.6%), Santa Barbara, Calif. (30.1%), and Chattanooga, Tenn. (up 24.1%). Median prices can overstate big swings because they may instead reflect a change in the mix of sales.
Median list prices fell on a monthly basis in just 17 markets, led by Daytona Beach, Fla., and Asheville, N.C. (down 1.4%), and were unchanged in another 35. They rose from April’s levels by 19% in Santa Barbara, Calif., and by 10% in Oakland.
The Realtor.com figures include sale listings from more than 900 multiple-listing services across the country. They don’t cover all homes for sale, including those that are “for sale by owner” and newly constructed homes that aren’t always listed by the services.
Click here to use the Wall Street Journal interactive graphs in order to compare figures for metro areas throughout the US.
In Metro Atlanta
FMLS recently released the May 2012 active inventory data for Metro Atlanta.
Active inventory level for Residential Single Family Detached continues to drop with 22,142 active listings as of the end of May 2012 vs. 33,860 active Residential Single Family Detached listings as of the end of May 2011. This represents drop in active inventory for Residential Single Family Detached of 35%.
Active inventory level for Residential Single Family Attached continues to drop with 3,883 active listings as of the end of May 2012 vs. 6,477 active Residential Single Family Attached listings as of the end of May 2011. This represents drop in active inventory for Residential Single Family Attached of 40%.
There were 11,466 new listings entered for all property types in May 2012 vs. 12,895 new listings entered for all property types in YTD May 2011. Total new listings entered for all property types in YTD 2012 was 58,081 vs. 65,216 new listings entered for all property types in YTD 2011.
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