After staging a turnaround last year, the housing market is continuing on the road to stabilization in 2013, ""RE/MAX"":http://www.remax.com/ said in its National Housing Report for May.[IMAGE]
Both home sales and prices rose at double-digit rates above May 2012, and inventory is showing signs of stability, the company reported.
According to the report, closed transactions increased in May 13.2 percent over April and 11.6 percent over the same month last year. May was the 23rd consecutive month to post higher sales on a year-over-year basis.
Of the 52 metros surveyed last month, 45 reported higher sales than May 2012, with 30 posting double-digit gains.
For all homes sold in May, the median price was $185,000, a 4.2 percent gain over April and a 10.8 percent increase over May 2012.[COLUMN_BREAK]
Of the markets surveyed, only three experienced a year-over-year price drop: Trenton (0.2 percent); Albuquerque (2.7 percent); and Burlington, Vermont (0.6 percent).
Twenty-one metros posted double-digit price gains, RE/MAX reported.
May was the fourth straight month in which both home sales and prices rose on a monthly and yearly basis.
""After a few years of disappointing data, we are so pleased that a housing recovery is finally in full swing. The month of May continues the trend we've been seeing in 2013, steady and consistent growth,"" said RE/MAX CEO Margaret Kelly. ""Last year was the year of the housing turn-around and this year represents a start on the road to sustainability.""
Reduced inventory continues to be a concern, however, though recent monthly changes have been promising. The number of homes for sale was down just 0.9 percent from April, showing inventories ""may be in the early stages of a return to more balanced levels."" Year-over-year, inventory was down 28.4 percent. The corresponding months supply in May was 3.5, far below the balanced level of 6 months.
The combination of low supply and high demand led to a significant drop in listing times for homes sold in May. According to RE/MAX, the average days on market was 70, a full week lower than the April average and 22 days lower than last year.