A seller’s market: Home sales continue to rise

Sellers are finding it a little harder to sell high-end homes such as this one as the inventory of available homes over $300,000 increases. This house was built by P.L. Lyons Architectural Builders. | Photo by Caitlin Bowling

Home sales numbers continue to defy the odds in the Louisville MLS.

Common sense would say that fewer homes on the market leads to fewer homes sold. However, as exhibited this year so far and last year, common sense isn’t always right. When compared to the prior year, the number of homes sold each month has kept increasing.

August was no exception. The number of homes sold in the Louisville MLS rose 7.4 percent, or by 125 homes, to 1,811 this most recent August. Meanwhile, inventory of homes on the market dropped 14.2 percent, according to numbers released by the Greater Louisville Association of Realtors.

In Jefferson County, the number of homes sold jumped 10.7 percent, to 1,254, and the inventory of homes for sale in August declined 11 percent, GLAR reported.

Bullitt County had a particularly strong month after the number of homes sold in July 2017 declined 6.3 percent. The county saw a 25.6 percent increase in homes sold, bringing the number of homes sold in August to 142.

Homeowners looking to sell their houses for under $300,000 aren’t having trouble finding buyers, according to GLAR president Allison Bartholomew.

“Homes under $300,000 are still selling at a very brisk pace,” Bartholomew said in a news release. “At the same time, the inventory of homes in higher price ranges is improving for buyers and making it a little tougher for sellers.”

As the market grows hotter, home builders continue to struggle to keep up with demand. Nationally, some builders have said it is hard to build homes below $300,000 — where the demand is — because of the rising cost of labor, land and materials.

“Local demand for new homes is still strong, and our builders still are managing the ongoing challenge to build mid-priced homes with current lot/land costs, material costs and limited availability of skilled contractors,” Pat Durham, executive vice president of the Building Industry Association of Louisville, said in the release.

Durham noted that low interest rates make now a good time to buy. The rates are below 4 percent for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, according to MarketWatch.

While it’s too early to tell for sure, it seems very likely that homes sales numbers will break last year’s record.