Report: August Home Sales Decrease with Inventory, Prices Rise 10.3%

August year-over-year home sales in metro Detroit dropped 12.3 percent after July saw the first increase in year-over-year sales since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March, according to RE/MAX of Southeastern Michigan.
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Home sales in metro Detroit dropped 12.3 percent in August due to a lack of inventory. // Stock photo

August year-over-year home sales in metro Detroit dropped 12.3 percent after July saw the first increase in year-over-year sales since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March, according to RE/MAX of Southeastern Michigan.

The decline — from 4,981 homes sold in August 2019 to 4,367 homes in August 2020 — is not due to a lack of interest, according to housing officials.

“It is a lack of inventory, not a lack of buyers, that led to a decrease in year-over-year home sales during August,” says Jeanette Schneider, executive vice president of RE/MAX of Southeastern Michigan in Troy.

“Buyers remain optimistic and active in the market looking for homes and are still competing with other buyers. Sellers are getting favorable price and terms. … Election years tend to see a more pronounced slowdown in fall sales due to election uncertainty. It won’t be surprising to see that dynamic happen as we get closer to November.”

In July, 5,015 homes sold. Nationally, home sales increased 4.3 percent from 2019.

The median sales price increased 10.3 percent from the previous year to $250,500 from $227,188. The median price in July was $247,438. The median sales price nationally increased 11.5 percent year-over-year to $290,000.

Homes spent 31 days on the market on average, an increase of one day from the previous year. Across the U.S., the average decreased four days to 41 days.

There was a two months supply of homes available, the lowest since the pandemic’s height in March. This is down from 3.6 months in August 2019 and 2.2 months in July 2020. However, it is higher than the national supply of 1.7 months.

Home sales decreased in Livingston (12.2 percent to 253 homes), Macomb (10.2 percent to 973 homes), Oakland (13.5 percent to 1,541), and Wayne (12.4 percent to 1,600) counties, as well as in Detroit (20.7 percent to 321).

The median price saw the largest jump in Wayne County – 13.9 percent to $165,000. The increase followed suit in Detroit, where the average price increased 12.1 percent to $52,250. In Oakland County, the average home price increased to $310,000, a jump of 10.8 percent. Macomb and Livingston counties saw increases of 9.3 percent and 8.6 percent, respectively, jumps to $212,000 and $315,000.

Homes spent 63 days on the market in Detroit, a 14.5 percent increase from 55 days in August 2019. In Wayne County, homes spent 33 days on the market, a 6.5 percent increase from 31 days. Livingston County saw a similar jump – 6.9 percent to 31 days from 29. Homes spent one days less on the market in Macomb County – 29 days from 30, a 3.3 percent decrease, and spent the same amount of time – 30 days – in Oakland County.

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