Home sales took a year-over-year drop by 8.1 percent in September, the largest decline posted since July 2016, according to new data from Redfin
. The falling sales figures were matched by a shrinking inventory: the number of homes for sale tumbled by 10.9 percent from one year earlier, continuing the 24-month streak of declining inventory, while the number of new listings in September sank year-over-year by 7.7 percent, leaving 3.3 months of supply. Less than six months of supply signals the market is tilted in favor of sellers.
September’s median sale price was $288,000, up 7.6 percent from last year, and the average sale-to-list price ratio was 98.4 percent; 23.6 percent of homes sold above their list price in September.
But complicating the data were the impacts left by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Redfin reported home sales in the key Florida markets of Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa all declined by more than 15 percent compared to last September. Houston’s home sales fell in August and recovered in September, but were only 0.2 percent above last year’s level.
“The housing market is running on fumes due to low inventory,” said Redfin Chief Economist Nela Richardson. “September marks the first time since 2014 that we’ve seen three consecutive months of year-over-year sales declines. The inventory shortage is most severe for affordable homes. There has not been an increase in homes priced under $260,000 in two years.”