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According to the latest RE/MAX National Housing Report, homes that were sold in October were on the market for only 38 days, on average.

For the first time since 2009, homes sold faster in October than during the preceding summer months, typically considered to be the peak homebuying season. According to the latest RE/MAX National Housing Report, which is based on MLS data in approximately 52 metropolitan areas, there was an average time of 38 days from listing to contract. This timeframe marked the fastest pace of any month in the report’s 13-year history.


Up until mid-summer, it appeared many buyers and sellers were taking a wait-and-see approach as a result of the pandemic. In July, even as home sales jumped 8.7% year-over-year, homes remained on the market for 44 days, on average. With many homebuyers playing catch-up from delayed moves and sellers more eager to jump into the market, homes are now flying off the market at a record pace – nearly a week quicker than in July.


“The housing market continued its remarkable run in October, driven by high demand and historically low interest rates. Buyers, many of them freed from the constraints of having to live close to work, are jumping into the market and looking for homes that have what they want – a home office, more outdoor space, or whatever else it might be,” said Adam Contos, CEO of RE/MAX Holdings, Inc.


“The short turnaround times are telling, too. Buyers are ready to act as soon as they see the right home. Sellers who want to get through the process quickly, without having to move much on price, have a great opportunity to do so right now. That advantage should bring more listings into the market in the months ahead, but with inventory levels as low as they are, it will likely be a while before we see anything resembling a balanced market.”


With homes being snapped up in just over a month on average, low inventory conditions and climbing sales prices continue to pose challenges for buyers.


Some highlights of the latest data found in the RE/MAX National Housing Report include:

1. Defying Seasonality, October Sales Were the Third-Highest Year-to-Date

Of the 52 metro areas surveyed in October 2020, the overall average number of home sales was up 0.1% compared to September 2020, and up 20.8% compared to October 2019. Leading the year-over-year sales percentage increase were Hartford, CT at +41.3%, Wichita, KS at +33.9%, and Chicago, IL at +33.4%.

2. Rapid Price Appreciation Continues

No metro area saw a year-over-year decrease in Median Sales Price in October 2020, and 48 metro areas increased year-over-year by double-digit percentages, led by Augusta, ME at +29.1%, Tulsa, OK at +20.5%, and Cincinnati, OH at +20.4%. Home prices were driven up largely by the abundance of homebuyers and a shortage of sellers, resulting in sellers often being rewarded with quick sales at or over asking price in October.

3. There is Still a Shortage of Homes for Sale

The number of homes for sale in October 2020 was down 7.6% from September 2020 and down 32.5% from October 2019. In October 2020, of the 52 metro areas surveyed, zero metro areas reported a months supply at or over six, which is historically considered a buyer’s market. The markets with the lowest Months Supply of Inventory were Boise, ID at 0.5, a two-way tie between Albuquerque, NM and Manchester, NH at 0.7, and a four-way tie between Phoenix, AZ, Charlotte, NC, Denver, CO, and Omaha, NE at 0.9.

As people continue to re-evaluate their living conditions after spending so much time at home this year, some markets across the U.S. are experiencing a new wave of potential homebuyers moving to their markets – an encouraging sign more listings may come into the market as Contos predicted. Brad Whitehouse, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Professionals in Denver, observed this trend in his market last month.


“Here in Colorado, the same forces that have driven low inventory in the national market are being helped along by an influx of buyers from outside, some of them moving to be near kids and grandkids, and others wanting the outdoor attractions.”


Added Whitehouse, “Practically all price points are seeing exceptionally quick turnaround times now, and in the lower ranges below $500,000, buyers are typically offering more than asking price. Our median sales price in the Denver metro area is hitting record levels, and we’re telling potential sellers that they should be taking advantage of that now, even at a time of year when families have lots of other things to think about.”


While a shift to a more balanced market is still off in the distance, RE/MAX agents are prepared to navigate any environment to ensure their clients get the best deal possible. Contact a RE/MAX agent today if you’re ready to make your move.

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