September Saw Shift To Buyer’s Market

buyers_market_shiftWith month-over-month declining prices and increased time on market, the September housing market has transitioned into a buyer’s market, according to®’s ‘Advance Read of September Trends.’ This means that it’s now easier for buyers to purchase a home than it has been any time so far this year.

“The spring and summer home-buying seasons were especially tough on potential buyers this year with increasing prices and limited supply,” says Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for®. “Buyers who are open to a fall or winter purchase should find some relief with lower prices and less competition from other buyers. However, year-over-year comparisons show that fall buyers will have it tougher than last year as the housing market continues to show improvement.”

Housing demand is in its seasonally weaker period, and as a result, median list prices are continuing to decline from July’s peak. Likewise, inventory has also peaked for 2015, so buyers will see fewer choices through the end of the year.

According to®’s ‘Advance Read of September Trends,’ which draws on residential inventory and demand trends over the first three weeks of the month:

  • The national median list price is $230,000, down 1 percent over August and up 6 percent year-over-year.
  • The median age of inventory is now 80 days, up 6.7 percent from August, but down 5 percent year-over-year, reflecting the seasonal trend for fall listings to stay longer on the market as the day becomes shorter.
  • Listings inventory will likely end the month down 0.5 percent from August.

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Full Price Recovery Reached for More Than Half of U.S. Housing Markets

housing_price_recoveryAmong the nation’s top 300 markets, 166 or 55 percent have now achieved full price recovery, 24 more than the 142 markets reported in June, according to®’s recently released July 2015 Local Market Index.

By July, 50 of the nation’s 100 largest markets experienced a complete price recovery, one more than the prior month. Additionally, 116 out of 200 midsize markets saw a complete price recovery, 23 more than reported in June.

July saw 16 of the top 100 markets post a decline in their three-month averages. The long-term view remains robust though, with all 100 markets continuing to post year-over-year gains.

“We’ve reached an important benchmark in the U.S. housing market with the majority of the nation’s top 300 markets recovering at least their peak prices. Most homeowners in these markets have now regained lost equity from the housing crash, and we’re seeing good progress toward restoring equity to the remainder of the nation,” says David Mele, president of

Southern Markets Lead Recovery; West Remains Dominant in Annual Gains

As of July, 50 out of the top 100 markets had shown a complete price recovery. Richmond, Va., rebounded at 100.18 and became the 50th market among the top 100 to achieve that status.

Of the 200 midsize markets, 116 have now achieved a complete price recovery. The most recent midsize markets to reach rebound status include Grand Junction, Colo.; Hattiesburg, Miss.; Springfield, Mo.; Charlottesville, Va.; Olympia-Tumwater, Wa.; Niles-Benton Harbor, Mich.; Dalton, Ga.; Tupelo, Miss.; Dothan, Ala.; Athens-Clarke County, Ga.; Muskegon, Mich.; Montgomery, Ala.; Eugene, Ore.; and Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, Ariz.-Mo.

Of the top 100 markets, the markets with minimal price declines from peak prices before the housing crash have achieved an average rebound of 109 percent. The average rebound of the moderate price decline markets was 101 percent of the prior peak price. Of the severe price decline markets, the average rebound was 84 percent.

The South continued to dominate recovery among the top 100 markets in July, with 23 markets recovered, followed by the Midwest with 11 markets fully recovered. Both the West and South had eight markets each that have achieved rebound status.

National Summary – West Continues to Dominate Annual Gains

Boise City, Idaho, edged out Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo., and San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif., in July for the top spot with an annual percentage change of 7.09 percent. Strong progress continues in the West where nine of 10 of the top performing markets are located. However, that was one fewer than in June, with Grand Rapids-Wyoming, Mich., making the list. Within the West, California continued to dominate with four of the 10 top markets.

Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn., posted the largest three-month average gain in July at 0.59 percent, followed by other markets in the Northeast, including Springfield, Mass., which had the second highest increase at 0.52 percent, and Providence-Warwick, R.I.-Mass., and Worcester, Mass.-Conn., that occupied the fifth and seventh places, respectively.

From a regional perspective, the market with the largest three-month average gain of 0.59 percent was located in the Northeast. This was followed by the West at 0.48 percent. The Northeast also had the worst performing market in July at -0.19 percent.

Largest Markets Summary

Western markets continued to lead the recovery among top 100 markets. Markets with the highest rebound percentages were Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas (115.43 percent); Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo. (113.41 percent); Austin-Round Rock, Texas (113.32 percent); Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas (112.84 percent); and San Antonio-New Braunfels, Texas (112.76 percent).

Large markets trailing the national rebound were those that suffered large numbers of foreclosures and price declines during the housing crash. The bottom five markets by rebound percentage were Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, Fla. (72.49 percent); Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Fla. (71.72 percent); Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla. (71.21 percent); Stockton-Lodi, Calif. (70.61 percent); and Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nev. (68.47 percent).

On a year-over-year basis, the West also dominated. The top five markets achieving annualized gains were Boise City, Idaho; Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo.; San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif.; Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash.; and San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.

Top performing markets by region were Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn.; Stockton-Lodi, Calif.; Toledo, Ohio; and Augusta-Richmond County, Ga.-S.C.

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