1. Houston home sales skyrocketed by 35.1% in October compared to last year, and posted the 17th consecutive month of positive sales on a year-over-year basis. The single-family median sales price increased 8.7% to $163,000 and the average price increased 8.3% to $223,366, the highest average home price in history for an October in Houston. Total sales volume in October was 47.2% higher than a year ago.
The inventory of Houston homes for sale fell to a 4.4-month supply at the current sales pace, a level last seen in December 2001. Pending sales at the end of October were 24.6% higher than a year ago, and signals further gains in home sales when November home sales data are reported.
2. Austin home sales soared by 37% in October, the highest year-over-year percentage gain in three years, while the median sales price increased by 5%. Inventory of Austin homes for sale fell to a decade-low 3.4-month supply. Local realtors report that multiple offers are becoming increasingly common.
3. San Antonio home sales increased 19% in October, while the average home price increased 7% and the median home price increased 4%.
4. Wisconsin home sales were up by 29.4% in October, and the median sales price increased by 3.5%.
5. Chicago area home sales increased by 44.1% last month on a year-over-year basis to the highest level for the month of October since 2006. The median sales price increased by 8%.
6. Home sales in Maine increased last month by nearly 25% from October 2011, while the median sales price rose by 3.3%.
7. Minnesota home sales increased 8% in October and the median sales price increased 9.4%.
MP: We can see all of the essential elements of a housing recovery in markets like Houston and Austin: Rising home sales on a year-over-year basis for more than a year, rising sales volume, increasing median and average home prices, faster marketing time, multiple offers and falling inventory. In other words, that’s what a housing recovery looks like, and we’re seeing signs of that kind of housing recovery in metro areas all over the country.
Note that many of the metro areas and states reported here – Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Wisconsin (including Milwaukee) and Maine are not included in the Case-Shiller Home Price Index, which many look to exclusively for signs of a housing rebound reflected narrowly in only one metric – price. A more comprehensive view of housing market activity looks to other measures besides price, like the ones mentioned above, which are all clearly showing signs of a housing recovery. Also, the Case-Shiller is a three-month moving average with a two-month lag, so some of the gains in October home prices for the 20 metro areas that are included in that index, won’t even be reported until January or February of next year.