4th Look at Local Housing Markets in September

Adding Austin, California, Des Moines, Houston and Maryland

This is the fourth look at local markets in September. I’m tracking about 30 local housing markets in the US. Some of the 30 markets are states, and some are metropolitan areas. I’ll update these tables throughout the month as additional data is released.

The following data is important, especially active inventory and new listings. One of the key factors for house prices is supply, and tracking local inventory reports will help us understand what is happening with supply.

Also note the divergence between markets (last year all markets mostly moved together).

“California housing market rebounds in September”

The California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) doesn’t release exact figures for monthly sales and inventory, but they put out a press release each month. From the C.A.R. California housing market rebounds in September as existing home sales reverse four-month decline, C.A.R. reports

Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 438,190 in September, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide. The statewide annualized sales figure represents what would be the total number of homes sold during 2021 if sales maintained the September pace throughout the year. It is adjusted to account for seasonal factors that typically influence home sales.

September’s sales pace was up 5.6 percent on a monthly basis from 414,860 in August and down 10.5 percent from a year ago, when 489,590 homes were sold on an annualized basis. …

California’s housing supply leveled off in September as the market transitioned into the off season. Three out of five counties reported by C.A.R. declined in active listings from last September, with 24 of them dropping by 10 percent or more year-over-year. …

September’s Unsold Inventory Index (UII) was unchanged from 1.9 months in August and was slightly below last year’s level of 2.0 months. The index indicates the number of months it would take to sell the supply of homes on the market at the current rate of sales.

Interesting - inventory in about 40% of California markets was either unchanged or up year-over-year.

Some Local Press Releases

From the Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR) (pdf)

According to the Austin Board of REALTORS® (ABoR) September 2021 Central Texas Housing Report, the Austin-Round Rock MSA housing market is continuing its calming trend. Home sales decreased 5.1% compared to September 2020 as the median sales price of $450,000 set a record for the month of September across the MSA. To meet the continued demand, due in large part to economic activity and job growth across the region, addressing housing affordability and increasing available inventory should continue to be a top priority for the region.

From the Houston Association of REALTORS® (HAR): Houston Housing Remains on Track For A Record Year

Despite persistently low inventory, buyers kept the Houston real estate market humming once again in September, positioning it for a record finish by the time the books close at midnight on December 31. …

Sales of all property types rose 1.6 percent year-over-year, totaling 11,285. Total dollar volume for September increased 16.9 percent to $4.0 billion. 

“The Houston housing market continues to show strength as we enter the fall season, which is traditionally the time of year the market slows,” said HAR Chairman Richard Miranda with Keller Williams Platinum. “We are on track for another record year of sales, however higher home prices and the potential of rising interest rates could impact buyer demand in the coming months.” 

From Des Moines Area Association of REALTORS® (DMAAR) Des Moines Area September Sales Steady

“We are seeing the typical steady fall market. The continual increases in the inventory of available homes bodes well for the future. Interest rates continue to be relatively low. …” stated DMAAR President Ted Weaver. 

Active Inventory in September

Here is a summary of active listings for these housing markets in September. For these markets, inventory was down 0.9% in September MoM from August, and down 24.0% YoY.

Inventory in San Diego is at an all time low, whereas inventory in Denver and Sacramento is up more than double from the all time low earlier this year.

Austin and Sacramento are two of the few areas with inventory up YoY. The C.A.R. reported today (above) that inventory in 40% of the markets in California are either unchanged or up year-over-year. This is a change.

Notes for all tables:

  1. New additions to table in BOLD.

  2. Northwest (Seattle), North Texas (Dallas), and Santa Clara (San Jose)

  3. Totals do not include Atlanta or Denver (included in state totals).

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New Listings in September

And here is a table for new listings in September. For these three areas, new listings were down 1.9% YoY.

Note: Not all areas report new listings.

Closed Sales in September

And a table of September sales. Sales for these markets were down 3.7% YoY, Not Seasonally Adjusted (NSA). This does not include California with sales down 10.5% YoY SA (press release above).

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