Housing recovery pushed forward during October. Just like most of this year, more homes sold in less time at higher prices and for closer to asking price than last year. During October, 4,483 homes went under contract, 34.0 percent higher than October 2011. There were 4,262 closed sales, a 15.1 percent increase over last year. The median sales price was up 14.8 percent to $175,000.
The 10K Housing Value Index showed a 7.4 percent increase to $172,804. Seller confidence is improving, as 5,301 homes were placed onto the market, 7.5 percent more than last year at this time. The number of homes for sale fell 29.7 percent to 15,002 active listings—the lowest number since before January 2003.
The median sales price has now risen for eight consecutive months. That’s being driven by three primary factors: less supply, more demand and a healing distressed segment. Overall, new listings were up 7.5 percent, but traditional new listings were up 25.4 percent while both foreclosure and short sale new listings were down 7.5 and 31.6 percent, respectively.
Prices were up across the board. The overall median sales price was up 14.8 percent to $175,000; the traditional median price was up 9.6 percent to $212,500; the foreclosure price was up 15.2 percent to $123,500; and the short sale price was up 4.2 percent to $131,871, only the second year-over-year gain since June 2008.
Traditional sales made up 64.4 percent of sales, foreclosures 25.1 percent and short sales 10.5 percent.
The number of homes for sale has dropped for 21 consecutive months and is just above 15,000, the lowest level for any month since January 2003. Months’ supply of inventory fell 41.4 percent to 3.7 months. This indicates that the market is on the brink of favoring sellers. Figures below 4.0 months of supply are typically hallmarks of sellers’ markets.
Sellers can take some comfort in these ongoing improvements. Homes sold in an average of 104 days, 24.8 percent less time than last October. Sellers, on average, received 94.4 percent of their list price, 3.5 percent more than last year. Cash buyers made up 21.2 percent of all closed sales.