Solid Growth Reflects Housing Market Strength Entering Fall Slowdown

Graphic of fall housing market strength.
Fall signals a slowdown in the housing market, but this season the news is a bit more promising.

Every year, fall signals a cool down in not just temperatures, but also the real estate market. This year, however, is different.

While monthly indicators in the housing market are surely demonstrating the usual slowdown this year, yearly metrics and traffic from Realtor.com are continuing to show solid growth in October, a reflection of strong and consistent buyer demand.

According to Realtor.com’s Advance Read of October Trends report, prices remain higher and inventory continues faster year-over-year.

“Monthly inventory metrics point to a strong and steady market that has moved into the slower part of the year and reflect a momentum that has shifted to now favor buyers,” says Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for Realtor.com. “Robust year-over-year housing metrics and traffic show just how far the housing market has come in 2015.”

Realtor.com’s report draws on residential inventory and demand trends over the first three weeks of the month. Here are its top-line findings:

  • The national median list price is $232,000, virtually flat from September and up 6 percent year-over-year. 
  • The median age of inventory is now 81 days, up one day from September, but down three days, or 7 percent, year-over-year, and moving slightly more slowly as the fall season and colder weather dampen summer demand. 
  • The listings inventory will likely end the month down 2 percent from September.

The report also outlined the 20 hottest markets in the U.S. for October 2015, ranked by number of views per listing on Realtor.com and the median age of inventory in each market. The results:1. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo.

2. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.

3. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif.

4. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas

5. Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif.

6. San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif.

7. Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, Calif.

8. Santa Rosa, Calif.

9. Yuba City, Calif.

10. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, Calif.

11. Stockton-Lodi, Calif.

12. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, Calif.

13. Midland, Texas

14. Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tenn.

15. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, Calif.

16.Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, Mich.

17. Boulder, Colo.

18. Ann Arbor, Mich.

19. Modesto, Calif.

20. Fort Wayne, Ind.

The Takeaways

Realtor.com notes that, from the demand side, these markets receive 1.8 to 3.6 times the number of views per listing, compared to the national average. From the demand size, these markets are moving inventory 30 to 47 days quicker than the rest of the nation, in addition to seeing days on the market drop by a combined average of 19 percent year over year.

Up from number three on the charts, Denver has overtaken the top spot on the Hotness Index driven by strong consumer demand and fast-moving inventory.

Home to 12 competitor markets to Denver, California is a state to be reckoned with this fall, due to continued tight supply and a strong economy. These markets have been noted for exceptionally tight supply throughout the year, so discouraged buyers who have not been able to find their next home remain active in their home search, supporting sustained strength in sales across much of the northern and southern regions of the state.

“Sellers across all these markets continue to see listings move much more quickly than the rest of the country in October and the seasonal slowdown is not as strong in these markets,” Smoke says.

FallRealEstateMarket2

About the author 

Drew Knight

Drew Knight is a freelance writer for Builders Digital Experience (BDX). He graduated from Texas A&M University in December 2014 with a degree in agricultural communications and journalism. He previously edited and designed pages for the Bryan-College Station (Texas) city paper The Eagle, wrote for the Brazos Valley’s premier arts and entertainment publication Maroon Weekly and worked in publicity at Warner Bros. Records in New York City.

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