Home sales shot up 24 percent in October from the previous year on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to a report Thursday from Redfin, the largest increase since the company began tracking the data in 2012.
Home prices also saw significant gains, rising 14.2 percent on an annual basis to $335,900, the second-largest annual increase on record. But new listings had trouble keeping pace, which were only up 12 percent year over year. Meanwhile, active listings fell 22 percent year over year to their lowest level on record for October.
“October very well may have been the hottest the housing market gets this year,” Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather said. “Buyers who stepped away from the market at the beginning of the pandemic had been making up for lost time, which sent prices skyrocketing. But given that we are entering a winter wave of the pandemic, housing demand will likely lose a bit of steam until 2021, cooling the market from red-hot to just hot. If you are a seller, it’s probably a good idea to wait until the new year to list your home, but if you are a buyer, right now is a short window of opportunity where competition likely won’t be as intense as it was in October.”
The median sale price rose in all but one of the 85 largest metro areas Redfin tracks: Honolulu, where prices fell 0.8 percent from the year before.
The greatest price increases were seen in Bridgeport, Connecticut (up 39 percent); Memphis, Tennessee (up 30 percent); and Newark, New Jersey (up 24 percent). Redfin’s report noted that increased activity in Bridgeport and Newark can be attributed to people leaving New York City during the pandemic for less densely populated areas nearby.
The biggest gains in home sales were in Bridgeport, Connecticut (up 71 percent); Elgin, Illinois (up 54 percent); and New Haven, Connecticut (up 54 percent).
Just three of the 85 largest metro areas Redfin analyzed in the report saw an annual increase in the number of seasonally adjusted active listings, including San Francisco (up 48 percent); New York City (up 25 percent); and San Jose, California (up 4 percent).
At the other end of the spectrum, areas that saw the biggest drops in active listings included Allentown, Pennsylvania (down 50 percent); Kansas City, Missouri (down 49 percent); and Salt Lake City, Utah (down 49 percent).
With fewer sellers than buyers in the market, homes sold in October spent only 28 days on market, which was 16 days less than October 2019, and a new record low.
Likewise, the number of homes sold above list price bucked typical trends for October, with 35 percent of homes selling above list price, its highest level at least since 2012 when Redfin began tracking the data, and up 22 percent from the previous year.