It's official, sales of homes in America have got so high that the short supply of homes for sale is now the problem driving them back down again. Of course this is not happening in all regions; indeed some markets are still suffering, but in the best performing markets sales have started to be hit by weak supply after years of very weak construction.
New data from the California Association of Realtors for September showed that the continued shortage of available homes for sale not only lowered sales, but took the average house price to the highest level in 4 years.
"Sales in the inland and coastal markets continue to move in different directions. Low inventory - especially in distressed areas - is dampening sales activity," said C.A.R. President Le Francis Arnold. "In many of these areas, there is a one-to two-month supply of REO homes on the market.
"The Inland Empire and the Central Valley have experienced double-digit sales declines compared with last year. Meanwhile, sales were higher in San Diego and most Bay Area counties, where the economies appear to be growing faster than the rest of the state."
According to the data, which was collected by C.A.R. from over 90 local Realtor associations and MLSs across the state, sales of single-family detached homes totalled annualized rate of 484,240 units in September. This represents a decrease of 1.2% compared to the previous year and 5.2 percent from the previous month.
The new shortage of supply is also pushing up prices. According to the association the average cost of a home in September was $345,000, up 0.3% from August and an incredible 19.5% from last year. September also marked the 7th straight month of price growth on both a monthly and annual basis.
The state-wide sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2012 if sales maintained the September pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.
- Wednesday 17 October 2012