According to ""RE/MAX's"":http://www.remax.com monthly National Housing Report, the housing market is attempting to return to traditional seasonal trends after a slow summer following the spring rush to qualify for the government's homebuyer tax credit.[IMAGE]
September sales were 6.4 percent below those in August and 20.6 percent below sales in September 2009.
RE/MAX also cites stabilization in prices due to a drop in the inventory of homes for sale.
""We anticipated the drop in home sales this summer due to the tax credit, and we usually see sales in September fall below August levels, but we're encouraged by reports of signed contracts in the field,"" said Margaret Kelly, CEO of the Denver-based RE/MAX, LLC.[COLUMN_BREAK]
""An increase in signed contract activity should translate into increased home sales in the coming months,"" Kelly added.
RE/MAX attributes September's 20 percent drop in sales from the previous year to homebuyers buying early to take advantage of the tax credit; sales in the spring were much higher than normal. Of the metro areas surveyed, only Miami reported higher September sales from a year ago with a 3.2 percent increase.
Despite the drop in transactions, September's home prices were relatively stable with 33 metro areas showing a year-to-year increase in home sales prices. Overall, prices were down 2.7 percent from August but up 0.9 percent from a year ago. Prices are higher than 2009 in California cities and in the South and Midwest.
According to the report, the months' supply of inventory, which indicates how long it would take to eliminate the current inventory of homes for sale at the current rate of sales, was 9.8, which is higher than the 9.1 supply reported in August and the 7.1 month supply in September 2009.
The RE/MAX National Housing Report is distributed each month and based on MLS data in approximately 54 metropolitan areas. It includes all residential property types and is not annualized. This month's results are based on sales contracts signed in September.