Median home prices across the U.S. in May rose for the fourth consecutive month, according to a national housing report released this evening by Denver-based RE/MAX.
Last month, home prices were 6.1 percent higher than those in May 2011, according to the report. Home sales also rose above the mark set last year by 12.8 percent.
With 42 of 53 markets surveyed showing an increase in both sales and prices, the recovery appears to be taking hold in all regions of the country, according to the giant real estate franchise company.
May marked the 11th consecutive month in which home sales have exceeded the level of the same month a year ago.
Meanwhile, inventory continues to fall significantly lower than the previous year, with a 26.6 percent drop from May 2011.
The months of supply and days on market are also trending lower.
“Clearly, 2012 is the year the housing industry has been waiting for; there’s a broad-based recovery taking hold,” said Margaret Kelly, CEO of RE/MAX. “This recovery may not bring improvement in all sectors to all markets at the same time, but most markets across the country are experiencing the best-selling season they’ve seen in years.”
Of the 53 metro areas surveyed, a record 48 saw sales higher than one year ago, and of those, 38 saw double-digit increases including:
- Burlington, Vt. 39.3 percent.
- Albuquerque, 35.8 percent.
- Boston, 29.3 percent.
- Chicago, 28.1 percent.
- Nashville, 27.1 percent.
- Raleigh-Durham, 25 percent.
The median sales price of homes sold in May was $166,500. This price marks a 4.1 percent rise from the median in April and a 6.1 percent increase from May 2011. May also marks the fourth month in a row to record a year-over-year increase.
Of the 53 metro areas included in the May RE/MAX National Housing Report, a record 46 experienced price increases over last year, with 9 metro areas seeing double-digit gains including:
- Phoenix, 34.5 percent.
- Detroit 23, percent.
- Boise, 23.0 percent.
- Denver, 14.8 percent.
- Miami, 14.3 percent.
- San Francisco, 11.9 percent.
May saw another drop in the average days on market for homes sold during the month. The average fell to 92 days, lower than April’s average of 96 and slightly lower than the average in May 2011 of 94. In the last 12 months, the average days on market fell below 90 only twice – July and September 2011 both reported 88. This level could be reached again this summer as transactions rise and inventory falls. Days on Market is the number of days between first being listed in an MLS and when a sales contract is signed.
In the month of May, the inventory of homes for sale fell 4.2 percent from April and 26.6percent from the inventory level seen in May 2011. Inventory continues to drop due to fewer foreclosure properties coming to market. Month-to month inventories have now fallen for 23 consecutive months. A diminishing inventory is helping home prices rise, according to RE/MAX.
Given the current rate of sales, the average months supply is now 4.9, about a half month lower than the 5.3 average for April, but a full two months lower than the 6.9 supply of May 2011. Months supply is the number of months it would take to clear a market’s active inventory at the current rate of sales. A six-month supply is considered a balanced market between buyers and sellers.