October home sales were up 21.8% from a year ago, with an unusual 9.8% gain from September to October.
Home prices in October increased 8.4% year over year, and were up just 0.4% month over month.
The number of homes for sale declined 29.4% from October 2011 to October 2012 (even larger than the 28.1% drop in September), and declined by 5.3% since September.
The percentage of listings that sold within 14 days of their debut inched up to 28.2% in October.
Based on September tour and offer volume, the Redfin Real-Time Demand Pulse, a summary of the number of Redfin customers touring homes and writing offers, predicted more than a month ago that U.S. October sales volume would increase; in fact, sales increased 9.8 percent during a month that saw declines of at least five percent each of the previous two years.
As inventory plunged to new depths, the share of new listings that went under contract within two weeks bumped up two percentage points to its highest level since May.
Sales Volume Stages Late-Season Surge
October sales were unseasonably strong, increasing nearly 10 percent between September and October. Unfortunately, based on the weakness we see in this month’s Demand Pulse, it looks like the strength in October might come at the expense of November and December.
Sales spiked the most from a year ago in Denver and Portland, each coming in 44 percent higher than October 2011, while Sacramento and San Francisco saw the largest month-over-month increases, 20 percent and 19 percent, respectively.
“With supply low, and, the economy slowly improving due to record-low interest rates, demand has increased,” said Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman. “Household formation is now at a record high. High demand and low supply drives prices up.”
“The $64,000 question is whether more people will list their homes for sale in 2013. Based on the conversations our agents have been having with homeowners, we think they will. We also believe that demand among home-buyers will increase, though that prediction has become less certain late in the year: almost no new Redfin customers are touring homes right now, fewer even than last year. But those who have been touring are writing offers at record levels. Everyone wants to get married on the first date.”
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.