August Home Sales Slow Price Growth Mixed

first_img Home Prices Home Sales RealtyTrac 2014-09-25 Tory Barringer August Home Sales Slow; Price Growth Mixed September 25, 2014 457 Views Home sales in August retreated annually for the fourth straight month as home prices ticked up to a six-year high, RealtyTrac revealed Thursday in its latest sales report.According to the company’s data, U.S. residential properties, including single-family homes, condos, and townhomes, sold at an estimated annual rate of 4.5 million last month, down half a percent from July and 16 percent from August 2013.The median price of homes sold in August was $195,000, an increase of 3 percent month-over-month and 15 percent year-over-year. As of the most recent report, RealtyTrac says the national median home price was at its highest since August 2008.”Higher-end properties are taking up a bigger share of a smaller home sales pie, boosting the median home price nationwide higher even as home price appreciation slows to single digits in many of last year’s red-hot local housing markets,” said Daren Blomquist, VP at RealtyTrac.According to the firm’s report, the share of home sales in the $200,000 and below price range was down 9 percent from a year ago, while the share of sales above $200,000 jumped 10 percent, with the $500,000–$1 million range and the $1 million and higher ranges both seeing increases in transaction share.That shift in sales share helped mask a slowdown in home price growth. According to RealtyTrac, appreciation in August slowed compared to a year ago in 63 percent of all major markets and in 18 of the 20 largest markets.Out of the major markets seeing the greatest deceleration in home price increases, San Francisco and Los Angeles topped the list, posting 9 percent and 7 percent annual appreciation, respectively, compared to 37 percent and 27 percent a year ago.”We continue to see the traditional housing cycle this year with most of the price appreciation happening in the spring and early summer months,” said Chris Pollinger, SVP of sales at First Team Real Estate, which covers Southern California. “Inventory in the Southern California coastal markets has become far more balanced, giving buyers a good level of choice and a moderate amount of negotiating room.”On the other hand, a number of less investor-heavy markets posted double-digit gains, most notably Cincinnati, which experienced 22 percent annual appreciation compared to a 4 percent decline last year.Also reporting significant gains in August were Cleveland (23 percent) and Miami (20 percent).In all, out of the 197 major markets surveyed, 11 percent hit new price peaks, including Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Columbus, Charlotte, and Austin.last_img read more