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Home Prices, Sales Spike in 19 Major Metros in May

Gains in home prices and sales surged in May, while inventory increased for the second straight month, according to ""Redfin's"":http://www.redfin.com/ most recent housing market report based on 19 markets across the country.

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In May, home prices surged 17.4 percent year-over-year, while prices in all 19 markets tracked showed yearly gains, the brokerage found. From April to May, prices increased 4.3 percent. Redfin also reported the median price per square foot stood at $208 last month. However, the median price per square foot ranged greatly, with a median of $92 in Las Vegas compared to $451 in San Jose.

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According to data from Redfin, home prices in San Francisco experienced the biggest annual increase at 34.7 percent, while Baltimore saw the smallest increase--3.2 percent.

At the same time, home sales climbed 15.8 percent from April to May, reaching their highest level since January 2010, which is when Redfin began keeping track.

Year-over-year, home sales shot up by 13.7 percent. Out of the 19 markets followed, five saw sales decline compared to a year ago.

Four of the five markets where sales were down from last year were in California: San Francisco (-7.7 percent), San Jose (-6.3 percent), Inland Empire (-5.4 percent), and Ventura (-2.1 percent). Las Vegas was the exception, where sales fell by 2.6 percent.

Although for-sale housing inventory decreased 21.9 percent year-over-year, Redfin reported inventory inched up by 4.3 percent from April to May, marking the second straight monthly increase. According to data from Redfin, inventory in 13 of the 19 markets tracked experienced monthly increases in inventory.

Chicago and Denver led with double-digit gains at 16.8 percent and 10 percent, respectively. Other metros that posted strong monthly improvements were San Jose (8.4 percent), Washington (6.3 percent), and Seattle (5 percent).

About Author: Esther Cho

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