The National Housing Report from RE/MAX found that for the third month in a row, home sales in May rose higher than sales in the previous month. May sales were 11.5 percent higher than in April, but stubbornly remained below the same period last year by 9.9 percent.
Of the 52 metros included in the study, a mere three experienced lower sales than the previous month. Overall, home prices continued to rise higher in May, with a 7.7 percent increase over the previous year.
"The usually strong spring selling months appear to be following traditional growth patterns. We've now seen three straight months of increased sales over the previous month—although we may not match the growth rates we saw last year, we are seeing significant increases in both sales and prices and that's a positive sign," said Margaret Kelly, RE/MAX CEO.
The National Housing Report commented that while both credit availability and inventory remain tight, May was the sixth consecutive month with fewer year-over-year inventory losses than the previous month. The month's supply of inventory dropped to 3.8—a supply of six months indicates an equally balanced market between buyers and sellers.
RE/MAX found that in the 52 metro areas studied, the median sales price of all homes sold during May was $198,750, 4.6 percent higher than the median price in April and 7.7 percent higher than the median price last year. Home prices have risen continuously for 28 months. The report notes that although prices continue to rise due to limited inventory, prices are not rising as rapidly as the 10.8 percent increase seen in May 2013.
"Among the 52 metro areas surveyed, 39 reported higher sales prices than one year ago, two were unchanged and nine reported double-digit increases including: Detroit, Michigan +25.4%, Honolulu, Hawaii +16.9%, Las Vegas, Nevada +16.1%, Orlando, Florida +14.2%, Miami, Florida +13.9%, Chicago, Illinois +12.7%, Atlanta, Georgia +11.5%, Boise, Idaho +10.2% and Los Angeles, California +10.0%.," the report found.
Homes spent an average of 66 days on the market, which was eight days lower than the average seen in April and four days lower than the average in May last year. May is the 24th consecutive month with an average days on the market below 90.