Streak of home sale declines ends as houses get scooped up quickly

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The spring housing market brought some good news for both homebuyers and sellers as conditions eased up on both sides of the fence, according to Remax's National Housing Report.

Home sales rose during the month while properties on the market were scooped up quickly. The average number of days between listing and sale totaled 47, which is the second fastest this figure has been in the 10 years Remax has been tracking the data. Home sales leaped 15.3% from April to May, and ended a nine-month streak of annual declines by also inching up 0.4% year-over-year.

At the same time, the dynamics between heavy demand and light supply got a little less tight as housing inventory expanded for the eighth straight month in May. Limited inventory has been a key driver of accelerated home price appreciation, which has been steadying.

The median sales price in May was $259,500, representing an annual increase of 3.4% and the lowest growth rate for the month of May since 2011. The 4.9% rise in the number of homes on the market also set a record annual increase for any May.

"The spring selling season was in full bloom during the month of May, offering both buyers and sellers something to like. Buyers are generally finding increased selection along with moderating price increases. At the same time, in general, sellers are selling their homes quickly while still enjoying some price gains. Bottom line, the market is operating efficiently right now, and homes are selling, on average, at a good clip," said Remax CEO Adam Contos in a press release.

Remax's report is based on an analysis of multiple listing service data for residential property types across 54 metropolitan areas.

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