Fewer homes for sale, but days on market increased

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The supply of homes for sale continued to shrink, but the median time to sell a home was slightly longer in August compared with the previous month, according to Redfin.

There were 302,400 new listings in August, down 2.2% from July and 1% from August 2016, bringing the total number of homes for sale to 749,100, down 4.4% from July and 12.4% from the prior year.

At the end of August, there was just a 2.8-month supply of homes for sale; a balanced market has six months of supply.

But at the same time, the median number of days on the market increased to 39 from 37 in July. That is the longest period since April's 40 days. Seasonality is a factor in the increase. However, interest in buying a home started to slacken as consumers became concerned about rising prices.

"The real estate market still favors sellers, with strong demand and rising prices, but perhaps less so now than earlier in the year," said Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman in a press release. "Newly listed homes are selling faster in 2017 than in 2016, but whereas in April the market was nine days faster than the 2016 market, in August it was five; the gap between 2016 and 2017 is narrowing slightly."

"Normally such differences wouldn't be worth mentioning, but Redfin managers of coastal markets where demand has been strongest are now reporting that some buyers are stepping back from higher prices."

August's median sales price of $292,900 was unchanged from July but up 7.7% from August 2016, the largest year-over-year increase since May 2015.

There were 268,800 homes sold in August, up 2.3% from July but down 5.5% from a year ago, the largest annual decrease since July 2016.

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