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Seasonal Slowdown Keeps Homes at an Affordable Level

HandGrabbingHouseAs the winter season presses on, the housing market is experiencing a seasonal slowdown in activity among home sales, prices, and inventory.

The RE/MAX National Housing Report for November 2015 showed that home sales in were down this month for the third time this year in 53 metros surveyed. The average number of home sales declined 22.6 percent from sales in October, almost double the normal November average of 12 percent. In addition, home sales are down 1.4 percent year-over-year, RE/MAX reported.

In November, 25 of the 53 metro areas reported higher sales year-over-year, with three recording double-digit increases. Augusta, Maine led the metros with the largest sales increases with a 24.5 percent rise, followed by Boise, Idaho, and Providence, Rhode Island, up 12.9 percent and 10.5 percent, respectively.

Home prices are still higher than they were last year, but have slowed over the last three months, making affordability less of an issue heading into winter.

“Moderating prices help keep homeownership more affordable as we approach the end of a year that saw prices reach pre-recession levels in many markets. Even with anticipated rate hikes, mortgage rates are near historic lows, which also helps home affordability. Many homebuyers find better availability and affordability in the winter months, before the traditional spring buying season starts,” said Dave Liniger, RE/MAX CEO, Chairman of the Board and Co-Founder.

“Even with anticipated rate hikes, mortgage rates are near historic lows, which also helps home affordability.”

Dave Liniger, RE/MAX CEO and Chairman

RE/MAX also found that "even though prices have been moderating, a low inventory supply continues to pressure prices."

According to the report, the median price of homes sold in November was $200,950, down 0.5 percent month-over-month but still 4.1 percent higher than last year. The average price increase over the same month last year for the first 11 months of 2015 was 7.2 percent.

Although home prices have now risen for 46 consecutive months on a year-over-year basis, those increases have become smaller over the last 90 days.

Des Moines, Iowa (15.1 percent), Denver, Colorado (13.0 percent), San Francisco, California (12.5 percent), Tampa, Florida (10.8 percent), and Miami, Florida (10.2 percent) had the largest price increases in November, the data found.

The average days on the market for all homes sold was 65 in November, up three days from October, the reports said. Last November, the average days on the market was 71 days.  Meanwhile, the number of homes for sale in November was 8.3 percent less than October and 13.3 percent less than last November.

Click here to read the full report.

About Author: Xhevrije West

Xhevrije West is a talented writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas. She has worked for a number of publications including The Syracuse New Times, Dallas Flow Magazine, and Bellwethr Magazine. She completed her Bachelors at Alcorn State University and went on to complete her Masters at Syracuse University.
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