The Redfin Real-Time Price Tracker is a monthly report on home prices, sales and inventory across 19 U.S. markets, published weeks before any other index, based on the local databases used directly by real estate agents to list properties and record sales.
National home prices turned in another 5 percent gain from a year ago in September, even as they began their typical seasonal decline, inching down just under 1 percent from August.
The key metrics across 19 major metropolitan markets are:
- Home prices in September increased 5.4% year over year, and were down 0.8% month over month.
- The number of homes for sale declined 29.3% from September 2011 to September 2012, and by 4.3% since August.
- Home sales increased 4% from last year, and fell 17% since August—a typical seasonal decline.
- The percentage of listings that sold within 14 days of their debut held steady in September at 27%.
Just as we predicted last month, prices began to decline a bit into the fall (a consistent seasonal pattern), but as we also predicted, modest year-over-year price gains continued, with the median price per square foot gaining 5 percent between September 2011 and September 2012. This is only a modest step toward recovery; home price gains would have to continue at this rate through 2018 for prices to reach their nominal pre-crash peak.
The number of homes for sale continued its descent, losing another 4 percent on the month for a total of 29 percent from a year earlier. As we might expect with inventory this low, homebuyers who find the right house are making offers quickly, with more than a quarter of new listings still going under contract within two weeks of hitting the market.
Home Prices Up from 2011 in 15 of 19 Cities
Home prices in September were 5 percent higher than a year earlier. Eight of the 19 metro areas that Redfin measures saw month-over-month increases in September, down from eleven metros showing an increase in August. Nationally, prices inched down 0.8%. Fifteen cities had higher prices than a year earlier.
The two cities with the biggest price gains from a year ago were yet again Phoenix (+30%) and San Jose (+16%). The cities where home prices fell the most were Philadelphia (-3%) and Chicago (-2%).
|Metropolitan Statistical Area||Median $/SqFt||Yearly Change||Monthly Change|
Inventory Down 29% Year Over Year
The squeeze on supply has shown no signs of easing up all year. Year-over-year declines in inventory got even worse in September, moving from a 27.2% drop in August to a 29.3% drop in September.
|Metropolitan Statistical Area||# of Houses for Sale||Yearly Change||Monthly Change|
More than a Quarter of Listings Still Selling Fast
For the month of September through the 24th (14 days before the data was collected), 27.1% of new listings were under contract in two weeks or less. This measure of how competitive the market is for buyers has been holding steady for the last seven months.
|Metropolitan Statistical Area||% Sold within 14 Days of Debut|
Sales Volume Dips Into Fall, Remains Above 2011
Home sales fell across the board between August and September, as begin their annual hibernation. That said, sales volume did remain slightly higher than last year, as we predicted it would in last month’s Demand Pulse.
|Metropolitan Statistical Area||# of Houses Sold||Yearly Change||Monthly Change|
“September is usually the month that real estate goes on sale, like Christmas toys in January,” said Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman. “Whatever didn’t sell in the summer gets marked down for a September closing. This September, we saw only a modest decline in prices, with inventory still dropping and demand fairly steady. In the most volatile markets, including Southern California, Phoenix and Las Vegas, we continued to see big price gains.”
About the Real-Time Home Price Tracker
Redfin’s monthly report on home prices, inventory levels and sales volume is an up-to-date, accurate portrait of the U.S. real estate market, coming weeks or months ahead of other market reports. As a broker with access to dozens of Multiple Listing Services (MLSs) used by real estate agents to list properties and record sales, Redfin gets data within minutes of a sale, pending sale or listing activation, well before any government, media or analytics organization. Using MLS fields, Redfin is able to distinguish houses from condominiums and townhouses — which often sell for less money.
To validate the accuracy of the data and to account for sales not handled by a real estate agent, Redfin compares MLS data with county records as they become available, using sophisticated algorithms to identify and resolve disparities about square footage or price for each address. Full data may be downloaded in a spreadsheet, and the report methodology is available as an Adobe document.