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Redfin Report: May Home Prices Up 3.6% in May, the Largest Year-over-Year Increase in 7 Months

Recent upticks in mortgage applications and home tours suggest that home price growth will strengthen this summer

SEATTLE, June 20, 2019 -- U.S. home-sale prices edged up again in May, growing 3.6 percent from a year ago to a median of $315,700, according to a new report from Redfin, the technology-powered real estate brokerage. This was the biggest annual home price increase in seven months.

Only six of the 85 largest metro areas Redfin tracks saw a year-over-year decline in their median sale price, the biggest of which were a 6 percent drop in San Jose, a 2.5 percent dip in New York, and a 2.2 percent decline in Honolulu. All three of the other metros that saw price drops were in California: Orange County (-1.4%), Los Angeles (-0.8%) and Oakland (-0.7%).

"As mortgage rates have fallen this month, Redfin has seen upticks in the number of people wanting to talk with our agents about buying homes and the number going on home tours," said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. "Recent surges in mortgage applications also reflect the impact low rates are having on homebuyer demand nationwide. We haven't yet seen a commensurate increase in U.S. home sales, and I don't expect sales to increase substantially in the long run. That's because there still aren't enough homes for sale for all of the people who want to buy homes. In May, inventory posted its smallest increase in eight months, and fewer new listings came on the market than last year. Low rates and rising prices will likely lure sellers onto the market this summer, but the lack of new construction will continue to hold back sales growth."

redfin report may 2019 home prices

Home sales were essentially flat in May, up 0.2 percent year over year. Forty-eight of the 85 metros tracked by Redfin saw an increase in sales from a year earlier.

The number of homes for sale as of the end of May was up 2.5 percent from the same time last year. This was the smallest year-over-year increase in home supply in eight months. The number of homes newly listed for sale last month fell 0.7 percent from a year earlier.

Nationwide, measures of competition are mixed, with some pointing toward a hotter market than a year ago and others indicating that the market has cooled.

One indicator of a hotter market is the median number of days on market, which dropped to 36 days in May from 37 days a year earlier. This is the lowest days on market measured in any month of May since at least 2010 (as far back as Redfin has recorded this measure nationally).

An indicator pointing to a cooler market is the share of homes for sale that had a price drop, which rose to 25.9 percent, the highest rate since September's record high, and up from 23.4 percent last year. The share of homes sold above list price is also falling, down to 24.4 percent in May from 28 percent last year. Still, last month's rate of homes selling above list price was the highest since last August.

To read the full report, including charts and metro-level data breakdowns, please visit: https://www.redfin.com/blog/may-2019-housing-market-tracker.

About Redfin

RedfinRedfin is a technology-powered real estate brokerage, combining its own full-service agents with modern technology to redefine real estate in the consumer's favor. Founded by software engineers, Redfin has the country's #1 brokerage website and offers a host of online tools to consumers, including the Redfin Estimate, the automated home-value estimate with the industry's lowest published error rate for listed homes. Homebuyers and sellers enjoy a full-service, technology-powered experience from Redfin real estate agents, while saving thousands in commissions. Redfin serves more than 85 major metro areas across the U.S. and Canada. The company has closed more than $85 billion in home sales.