May’s housing market has good news for everyone. Good news for buyers: For-sale home inventory increased in May for the second straight month. Good news for sellers: prices shot up and home sales hit a four-year high. There are some early signs that the market may be cooling slightly, but for now things are still hot. The key metrics across 19 major metropolitan markets are:

  • Home prices in May increased 17% year over year, and rose 4% since April.
  • The number of homes for sale (inventory) is down 22% compared to May 2012, but increased 4.3% month-over-month. This is the second month-over-month increase in a row.
  • Home sales rose 14% from 2012, and gained 16% from April.

Sales Volume Shoots Up Again, Hits Four-Year High

Home sales spiked between April and May, hitting the highest level since we began compiling the data in January 2010. Sales typically peak in June, so we expect another increase next month, followed by sales tapering off through the rest of the year.

Fourteen of the 19 markets we track saw sales increase from a year ago, one less than in April. All 19 markets saw an increase in sales volume from April to May.

May 2013 Changes in Closed Sales of Single-Family Homes

Metropolitan Statistical Area# of Houses SoldYearly ChangeMonthly Change
Austin2,86231.2%23.6%
Baltimore2,17719.1%27.0%
Boston3,37715.8%38.0%
Chicago7,14830.6%18.1%
Denver4,90729.9%28.5%
Inland Empire5,647-5.4%5.4%
Las Vegas3,618-2.6%4.2%
Long Island3,28474.7%31.6%
Los Angeles8,3525.1%8.0%
Philadelphia3,99726.4%27.2%
Phoenix8,8156.8%8.7%
Portland3,11728.7%18.8%
Sacramento3,3493.6%10.0%
San Diego2,90213.6%13.5%
San Francisco3,513-7.7%4.2%
San Jose1,463-6.3%9.3%
Seattle4,87328.4%18.1%
Ventura723-2.1%8.0%
Washington4,98413.4%26.9%
National79,11013.7%15.8%

Redfin-Real-Time-Home-Price-Tracker_2013-05_Sales

Home Prices Continue to Rise from 2012 in Every City

Nationally, home prices turned in another strong month in May, coming in 17 percent higher than a year earlier. Every one of the 19 markets we tracked saw home prices rise compared to May 2012.

Prices increased again month-over-month, rising 4.3 percent from April. Eighteen of the 19 metro areas that Redfin measures saw month-over-month increases in April, the same number that saw increases in March and April.

Sacramento, San Francisco, and Las Vegas again turned in the largest year-over-year price increases, gaining 39 percent, 35 percent, and 32 percent, respectively.

May 2013 Changes in Median $/Square Foot, Single-Family Homes

Metropolitan Statistical AreaMedian $/SqFtYearly ChangeMonthly Change
Austin$1114.2%-0.4%
Baltimore$1753.2%5.6%
Boston$2205.7%4.8%
Chicago$1208.7%7.2%
Denver$16615.1%2.7%
Inland Empire$12925.4%3.8%
Las Vegas$9232.5%2.4%
Long Island$2637.4%2.3%
Los Angeles$30122.2%2.5%
Philadelphia$1374.2%4.2%
Phoenix$10222.4%0.4%
Portland$15814.5%2.8%
Sacramento$15639.0%5.7%
San Diego$25118.8%3.1%
San Francisco$38634.7%9.6%
San Jose$45126.6%3.9%
Seattle$17112.9%5.1%
Ventura$27020.5%4.2%
Washington$2118.7%4.9%
National$20817.4%4.3%

Redfin-Real-Time-Home-Price-Tracker_2013-05_Prices

Inventory Gains for Second Consecutive Month

Following up April’s gains, inventory turned in another solid month-over-month gain in May, increasing 4.3% from April’s level. Six of the 19 markets we track saw inventory shrink in the month. Meanwhile, Chicago joined Phoenix as the only markets where inventory is higher than it was a year earlier.

May 2013 Changes in Number of Single-Family Homes for Sale

Metropolitan Statistical Area# of Houses for SaleYearly ChangeMonthly Change
Austin5,212-26.4%4.6%
Baltimore6,710-14.7%3.7%
Boston8,467-49.0%-1.0%
Chicago31,2000.4%16.8%
Denver5,751-27.8%10.0%
Inland Empire7,815-43.7%-7.3%
Las Vegas12,472-21.7%-1.4%
Long Island21,070-13.0%3.2%
Los Angeles10,813-43.8%-1.3%
Philadelphia22,284-9.3%2.7%
Phoenix14,65614.1%3.9%
Portland6,583-21.4%4.1%
Sacramento3,639-54.7%1.8%
San Diego3,832-34.6%1.2%
San Francisco3,421-34.8%-0.5%
San Jose1,296-25.7%8.4%
Seattle7,880-30.6%5.0%
Ventura971-38.3%-1.0%
Washington10,601-18.4%6.3%
National184,673-21.9%4.3%

Redfin-Real-Time-Home-Price-Tracker_2013-05_Listings

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.

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