Residential home sales fell in July, but still managed to hover over last July's levels and reach new heights not seen since 2008, according to the RE/MAX July 2015 National Housing Report released Tuesday.
According to RE/MAX, home sales over the last six months, including July, have each recorded the highest number of sales in their respective months since the RE/MAX National Housing Report began in 2008.
The average number of home sales were 3.2 percent lower than in June in the 53 metro areas surveyed, but 11.3 percent higher than sales in July 2014. Fifty-two of 53 metro areas reported higher sales on a year-over-year basis and 31 areas experienced double-digit increases.On a year-over-year basis, the increase in sales for each of the first seven months of 2015 was 5.9 percent.
“Even though home sales were slightly lower in July than in June, the numbers look very good and remain well above the levels we saw last summer," said Dave Liniger, RE/MAX CEO, chairman of the Board and co-founder. "Credit accessibility does appear to be loosening up, bringing homeownership back within the reach of many more Americans. If the economy moves forward and wage growth improves, potential homebuyers and sellers should feel more confident about entering the market.”
The report also found that the median sales price of all homes sold in July was $215,000, 4.3 percent lower than the June 2015 price, but 6.4 percent above the price seen last July. On a year-over-year basis, home prices increased 7.7 percent for the first seven months of 2015.
Home prices have now risen for 42 consecutive months.
States with the highest price increases include San Francisco, California (12.3 percent); Miami, Florida (12.2 percent); Boise, Indiana (12.2 percent); Manchester, New Hampshire (12.1 percent); Denver, Colorado (11.4 percent); and Las Vegas, Nevada (10.5 percent)
"With the average inventory this year remaining about 11 percent below a year ago, home prices continue to rise," the report said. "Among the 53 metro areas surveyed in July, 47 reported higher prices than one year ago, with 6 rising by double-digit percentages."
Inventory levels fell 1.0 percent in July, following three months of month-over-month improvements in homes for sales. On a year-over-year basis, inventory in July was 11.9 percent lower than the previous year. At the current rate of home sales, the resulting months supply of inventory in July still favors sellers at 3.9 on a scale where 6.0 months indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers.