July home sales were 10.3% higher than sales in July 2011, and year-over-year home sales have risen for 13 consecutive months, according to the latest edition of the RE/MAX National Housing Report.
Median home prices have reached levels higher than the previous year for six months in a row, RE/MAX adds, with an increase of 3.7% over July 2011. As a result, RE/MAX determines that iInventory is now becoming a serious challenge to this recovering market, with available homes-for-sale falling 26.8% lower than the same month last year.
Of the 53 metro areas surveyed for the July RE/MAX National Housing Report, 42 areas reported price increases over last year, with 12 metro areas experiencing double-digit gains. The median sales price of homes sold in July was $169,000, which RE/MAX identifies as a 3.7% increase over the median of July 2011, marking the sixth month in a row with year-over-year increases. However, it is down 0.6% from June's prices.
‘It's reassuring that both sales and prices continue to rise higher on a yearly basis, indicating that this housing recovery is real,’ says Margaret Kelly, CEO of RE/MAX, LLC. ‘Overall, the picture is getting brighter each month, but what we need for a sustainable recovery is a turn-around in unemployment and better availability of mortgages, especially for higher priced homes.’
Separately, new data from Zillow reports that home values continued to climb in July, increasing 0.5% from June and 1.2% from July 2011. Sixty-two percent of the metropolitan areas covered in Zillow's research saw home values climb during the month, with only 49 of the 167 metro areas experiencing declines.
Zillow adds that rents also continued to rise, climbing 0.2% month-over-month and 5.4% year-over-year. Nationally, rents have increased in six out of the past 12 months, with 70% of metropolitan areas experiencing rent increases from June to July.Â
Foreclosures continued to decline in July, with 5.7 out of every 10,000 homes in the country being foreclosed. That was down from 6.5 out of every 10,000 homes in June.
‘This summer, the housing market continued to heal, as home values experienced their eighth consecutive month of increases,’ says Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries. ‘Tight inventory levels are leading to bidding wars and multiple offers across the country. Looking ahead, we expect to see less aggressive increases in the fall as rising values lift some would-be sellers out of negative equity, allowing them to place their homes on the market.’