Inventory continues to be up—way up, in some cases. While it didn’t increase as sharply from September to October as it has each month since beginning its upward climb this spring, the number of homes on the market has nevertheless risen for another month. There were 107,154 homes on the market last month, and more than 50 percent of the markets we survey saw an increase in inventory, led by big gains in Las Vegas, NV, and Charlotte, NC.
In addition, Movoto Real Estate’s latest State of the Real Estate Market report shows that inventory is up year-over-year for the first time in 2013. Although it is only by 0.8 percent, it is nonetheless an indication that inventory is continuing to normalize. The increasing inventory levels this late in the year, when they are typically headed downward, means the market is continuing its transition from seller to buyer-friendly.
The median list price per square foot remained steady from September through October at $180, but was actually up 12 percent year-over-year from $161 in October 2012. This is a marked change from 2010 and 2011, which saw a decrease in the median price per square foot between September and October. Prices were up in 36 of the 38 markets we survey, with only two markets—Denver, CO and Colorado Springs, CO—seeing single-digit declines.
How This Report Is Made
In building Movoto’s monthly State of the Real Estate Market report, we look at 38 geographically diverse cities in order to determine total inventory levels and median price per square foot index. In addition, we further break down this data on a month-over-month and year-over-year basis. The data used comes from each city’s Multiple Listing Service.
Median List Price Per Square Foot Index
The median list price per square foot index was up 12 percent over October 2012, increasing from $161 to $180. Year-over-year increases were seen in 36 of the 38 markets we survey.
The three cities that saw the largest increase in median price per square foot index year-over-year were:
- Phoenix, AZ: The third month’s the charm for Phoenix, which has had three consecutive months of year-over-year increases. It was $122 per square foot in October, a 27.1 increase from its October 2012 level of $96 per square foot.
- Sacramento, CA: The Golden State’s capital posted year-over-year gains yet again in October, with its median per-square-foot price of $152 up 24.6 percent over last year’s $122.
- Miami, FL: This Florida metro saw its median list price per square foot rise to $187 in October. That’s a 21.4 percent increase from last October’s $154.
Denver, CO and Colorado Springs, CO both saw decreases in median list price per square foot for October when compared to the same month last year of 3.1 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively.
The median list price per square foot index held steady from September through October at $180, which was stronger than we expected. By comparison, the median list price per square foot index increased by 0.6 percent from $160 to $161 between September and October of last year.
Total Inventory Level
Total inventory was up year-over-year for the first time in 2013 in October, as it makes a steady climb back toward pre-2012 levels across the country. There were 107,154 homes for sale in the 38 markets we survey in October, compared to 106,282 in October 2012. That is an increase of 0.8 percent year-over-year—a dramatic turnaround from the nearly 30 percent decrease between October 2011 and October 2012.
The three cities that saw the largest increase in inventory year-over-year for October were:
- Las Vegas, NV: Sin City leads the nation in terms of available homes per capita, and posted a 77.5 percent increase in inventory year-over-year for October, climbing from 3,567 homes to 6,330.
- Charlotte, NC: There were 3,838 homes on the market in Charlotte during October, compared to 2,168 the same month last year, an increase of 77 percent.
- Sacramento, CA: Inventory in California’s capital city was at 1,626 homes for October, a 68 percent increase from last year’s 974. Despite the increase in inventory, the list price per square foot also rose.
While total inventory increased by 4.6 percent from August to September, the pace slowed a bit between September and October with the number of homes coming on the market only rising by 1.4 percent. There were 105,726 homes on the market in September, a number that rose to 107,154 in October.
Still, this is better than the same period last year, when inventory across the 38 markets we survey actually decreased. At that time, it went from 109,155 homes in September to 106,282 homes in October, a drop of 2.6 percent. In fact, this year marks the first increase in inventory between the months of September and October since before 2010.
Despite increases in both inventory and median list price per square foot, we’re still considering this a seller’s market—although the continued rise in inventory is definitely helping propel the market toward becoming one that’s predominantly buyer-friendly.