For the first time in nine years, homes sold faster in October than September as low-interest rates continue to unlock pent-up buyer demand.

The post-lockdown homebuying boom has yet to slow down, according to realtor.com’s October housing trends report released on Thursday.

For the first time since 2011, homes sold faster in October than September with median home prices remaining near $350,000.

Danielle Hale

Danielle Hale

“In the fall, we normally see homes sell more slowly and prices pull back from peak levels,” realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale explained in a statement.  “But this October, we saw a drop in the time it takes to sell a home even while home prices remain at their summer peak.”

The home sales continued its frantic pace, with homes selling one day quicker from September (54 days) to October (53 days). Among the nation’s largest 50 metros, the average days on market declined to 45 days with Hartford, Connecticut (-23 days); Virginia Beach, Virginia (-22 days); and San Diego (-20 days) experiencing the largest annual declines.

Robust buyer demand pushed median home prices up 12.2 percent year-over-year to $350,000 — a complete turnaround from typical fall listing price trends (-1.4 percent). On a regional basis, the Northeast led the way in home price growth (+11.4 percent), followed by the West (+10.1 percent), Midwest (+9 percent) and South (+7.3 percent).

However, home price growth has cooled in the nation’s largest 50 markets as buyers begin shifting their sights to smaller, more affordable areas. Growth in these areas cooled from 9.3 percent in September to 8.9 percent in October, a trend Hale expects to continue.

Metros with the largest increase in newly listed homes (Credit: realtor.com)

The number of homes for sale declined a whopping 38.3 percent year-over-year in October, representing a listing shortage of approximately 500,000 homes. The West (+7.2 percent) and Northeast (+4.1 percent) were the only regions to experience an increase in new listings, while homeowners in the South (-13.8 percent) and Midwest (-9.5 percent) are staying on the sidelines.

Among the nation’s 50 largest metros, Nashville (-27.5 percent), Charlotte (-22.9 percent) and Richmond, Virginia (-21.8 percent) experienced the greatest annual decline in new listings. Meanwhile, sellers in San Jose (+30.6 percent), New York City (+28.2 percent) and San Francisco (+25.9 percent) are entering the market at a fever pitch compared to last year.

Drawn in by low mortgage rates and the hope of more space, buyers have stayed in the housing market this fall, keeping prices high and pushing time on market to unseasonable lows,” Hale said. “Although we saw growth in newly listed properties in the Northeast and West this month, we’ll need a consistent wave of fresh homes hitting the market in order to better match persistent buyer demand.”

Email Marian McPherson

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