Housing Picks Up Steam with Little Regard for Changing of the Seasons

Contrary to what some are reporting, Realtor.com’sNational Housing Trend Report for October indicates the homebuying season hasn’t come to a close just yet.

“Instead of the usual seasonal slowdown, October data show the 2013 fall market moving at a fast pace,” said Errol Samuelson, president of Realtor.com.

“Inventory has returned to last year’s levels, but prices continue to strengthen and homes are moving significantly faster compared to this time last year,” Samuelson continued.

Realtor.com’s data shows the median list price in October was relatively untouched by the yearly seasonal drag

falling just 0.25 percent month-over-month to $199,000—7.57 percent above its year-ago level.

Eighty-five percent of the 146 markets covered in the report showed yearly improvements in median list price, and only 19 reported annual declines.

Compared to September, national inventory was down to 1.9 million, a decline of 0.71 percent from September and 1.51 percent from October 2012.

While the country continues to struggle with inventory problems, local trends indicate growth in supply.

According to Realtor.com, the number of markets where inventories were down by 5 percent or more annually dropped to 65 in October, continuing a trend that started in the summer. Meanwhile, inventory grew in 49 markets, and the number of areas with inventories up by at least 5 percent compared to last year rose to 30.

Perhaps the most promising statistic at this point, however, is median age of inventory: 94 days in October, a slight pickup from 93 in September but an 11.32 percent decrease from the prior year.

“This suggests that properties continue to turn over quickly in contrast to the usual seasonal patterns, and despite increasing prices and stabilizing inventory,” Realtor.com said in its report.

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