November's rise in housing inventory marks 10-year high

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For the second consecutive month, the supply of homes increased due to declining sales numbers, according to Remax.

After October's 1% year-over-year gain in for-sale home inventory broke a 119-month streak of declines, November's supply rose 3% from the previous year. The 3% improvement is the highest in the 10-year history of Remax's National Housing Report.

The market supply now stands at 3.9 months, a step up from 3.6 months in November 2017 and 3.5 months in October 2018. A balanced market between buyers and sellers is represented at a 6-month supply.

"The road to market normalization can be bumpy," Remax CEO Adam Contos said in a press release. "It's good to see the small uptick in inventory, and the drop in November sales isn't too surprising — given the recent trends, the midterm elections, and the earlier-than-usual Thanksgiving holiday."

Home sales dropped 6.9% year-over-year, the fourth month in a row with a decrease and the ninth month of 2018. The declining sales directly fed the inventory growth.

Keeping sales hampered was the 32nd-consecutive month with year-over-year increases in median sales prices. November's median sales price of $235,000 represented an annual increase of 4%.

"As we near year-end, three main themes appear clear — buyers are grappling with affordability issues and tight inventory, sellers are unsure how to react to the cooling market, and homes priced properly are still selling rather quickly," said Contros. "All three underscore the fact that the guidance of a professional agent is even more critical in times like these."

Of the 53 housing markets tracked by Remax, the largest increases in median home prices from November 2017 came in Boise, Idaho, with 18.2%, Las Vegas with 12.2% and Wichita, Kan., with 10.8%.

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Housing inventory Housing market Purchase Home prices Mortgage rates Remax