Homes sales on pace to beat record 2016 numbers

A 6,098-square-foot house in the Poplar Woods subdivision in Goshen is featured in Homearama 2017. | Photo by Caitlin Bowling

Despite lower housing inventory, buyers are finding houses, and possibly at record numbers, according to state and local data.

The Greater Louisville Association of Realtors reported that home sales were up 2.42 percent in the Louisville MLS for the first six months of this year compared to the same period in 2016. As of June 30, there were 8,625 houses sold in the MLS in 2017 versus 8,421 in 2016.

The median home price rose 7.5 percent, to $169,900, the report found. Meanwhile, the number of houses on the market on June 15 this year was down about 15 percent compared to the same day in 2016.

The chart shows homes sales statistics for the first six months of 2017. | Courtesy of GLAR

According to GLAR President Allison Bartholomew, many of the houses sold were on the lower end of the market.

“Our members are still seeing a dichotomy in the market, where homes under $300,000 are selling very quickly, and homes on the higher end are selling at a slower pace. Inventory in Jefferson County is improving slightly in July, giving buyers more homes to choose from compared to this spring,” she said in a news release detailing the housing market numbers for the first half of 2017.

The housing inventory available on June 15 in Jefferson County had 263 fewer homes in 2017, a 9.5 percent decrease. The county had a double-digit percentage decrease in inventory as recently as May.

Looking at the above chart, Jefferson County also had a slight larger increase in houses sold.

Based on recently released numbers from the Kentucky Association of Realtors, home sales statewide could eclipse 2016’s numbers, which were already records for the Kentucky real estate market.

In 2016, just over 3,800 more houses were sold than in 2015, and the total homes sales volume statewide was $9.17 billion, an 11.7 percent increase compared to the year prior.

The Kentucky Association of Realtors numbers are usually a month behind, so the most recent available information is January through May. Still, the statewide numbers echo those locally.

This chart shows the fluctuation in house closings during the past five years. | Courtesy of the Kentucky Association of Realtors

From January through the end of May this year, 20,440 houses were sold statewide, a 5.4 percent increase compared to the same period in 2016. The median home price rose to $121,582, up 1.8 percent.

Decreasing, however, is the amount of houses on the market and the number of days houses for sale remain on the market before they are purchased. Housing inventory was down 18.2 percent January through May, and days on the market dropped almost 14 percent, to 124 days.

“The fact that inventory remains so low, and sales continue to grow shows a very active real estate market,” Mike Becker, president of the association, said in a news release. “Buyers who are in the market need to move quickly if they find a property they want to move on.”

The home building industry has picked up again in an effort to fill the need for more houses, and events such as Homearama show people what local builders can do. Still, after taking a hit during the recession, the companies remaining in the building industry haven’t yet been able to keep up with demand.