The Housing Market Remains Strong Even as Prices Moderate

The key trends that have defined the residential real estate market in 2013 are still very much in place at the end of August, according to ZipRealty’s latest analysis of market conditions in 24 major metropolitan areas. Inventory is tighter, houses are selling faster, pending sales volume is stronger, and median sales prices are up strongly when compared to one year ago. “Over the past 45 days, we have observed moderating prices in the fastest-growing locales, while sales prices are accelerating now in markets that had been lagging earlier. Taken as a whole, the real estate market may be moving toward a broader, more consistent positive trend line as we head toward the final third of the year,” says ZipRealty CEO and President Lanny Baker.

  • Median sales prices in the 24 markets surveyed by ZipRealty were up 15.9% annually to just over $275,000 in August 2013 compared to $238,000 last year.
     
  • The cities that have seen the most rapid price climbs this year – Sacramento, the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Orlando, San Diego, Las Vegas and Phoenix – remain at the top in August, with median prices anywhere from 23% to 38% higher than last year.
     
  • Inventory is running below last year’s levels at 379,000 homes as of Aug. 31, 2013 compared to 450,000 one year ago, a 16% decline.
     
  • While the volume of new listings was 9% higher in August 2013 than in August 2012, the pace of new pending sales was 17% higher year-over-year, leading to continued tightness in available supply.