Home Asking Prices Fall in October

Home asking prices fell 1.5 percent and inventory declined across the country in October, according to data released Friday by Mountain View, Calif.-based Altos Research LLC and market analysis firm Real IQ. The firms’ monthly index of asking prices in 10 key metropolitan areas also showed a steady decline in asking prices of 2.9 percent during the past three months; list prices fell in 22 of 26 major markets. The fastest decline in occurred in Las Vegas, where the average asking price was down 3.7 percent in October and 7.1 percent during the past three months, marking the seventh consecutive month Las Vegas has posted the fastest rate of declining prices among major markets, according to Altos. The fastest rate of increase occurred in Denver, where asking prices were up 0.7 percent in October; Houston took the second-place lead with asking prices up 0.6 percent. But those increases were far outweighed by pricing pressure in the majority of markets studied. “The fleeting signs of price stability that we saw during the summer have now completely vanished,” said Real IQ’s Stephen Bedikian. “October’s stock market crash has crushed consumer confidence and housing price declines have resumed across most major markets.” Inventory levels continued in all 26 metropolitan markets studied — although listed inventory doesn’t account for a sizeable amount of so-called “shadow inventory,” sitting just outside the market and waiting for more favorable conditions. The largest decreases in listed inventory volume occurred in Boston and Charlotte, where inventory contracted a respective 7.9 percent and 5.7 percent; San Jose, Detroit, Houston and Phoenix also showed significant inventory decreases of more than 4 percent during October. Inventory in 23 of the 26 markets showed an average 100 or more days on market, while the average days-on-market rose in all 26 markets — suggesting that sales pace is generally slowing, as well. Miami inventory yet again displayed the longest wait, with an average of 172 days on market during October; the city has held the DOM crown every month since late last year. On the other end of the spectrum, the San Francisco market enjoyed the fastest rate of inventory turnover at an average of 86 days on market, Altos reported. “During October the steady trend of declining inventory continued with every single market showing a drop,” said Altos CEO Michael Simonsen. “However, economic conditions have been eroding housing market demand faster than supply is contracting with the result that listing prices continue to fall.” No doubt the recent peak in jobless claims contributed much of the tightened consumer spending and decrease in demand for housing as consumers buckle down and ready themselves for yet more financial turmoil. HousingWire received the Altos report just as the U.S. Department of Labor announced the unemployment rate reached 6.5 percent in October, its highest level in 14 years. Write to Diana Golobay at diana.golobay@housingwire.com.

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