Home sales continue to be strong in July as prices leap

Photo of a home in Louisville Kentucky by Tre Pryor

Move-in ready homes were practically flying off the shelves in July. | Photo by Tre Pryor

Entering the second half of 2017, Louisville home sales were in a near dead heat with the previous year. As you may (or may not) remember, 2016 set the high-water mark for total home sales. The record tally is 12,253 properties sold. That’s huge.

Given our real estate market’s severe lack of inventory, most thought it would be a massive uphill climb to even come close to that mark. So where are we? At halftime, 2017 is actually in the lead.

The first half of 2017 has resulted in 5,952 homes trading hands. That’s up 1.97 percent ahead of the previous year and quite the surprise.

With July in the books, how does the race look now?

Charts of Louisville home sales and Louisville home prices for the 12 month period ending July 2017

July home sales came up just shy of last year’s total, but the real story is the sale prices.

Last July, there were 1,165 sales. This year, the mark was just shy with 1,154 transactions for the ever-so-slight .94 percent decline. Never fear, there’s still time left to pull out the victory.

As big a story as that might be, the bigger one is home sale prices.

Increased competition has brought about some bidding wars to win the contract. Given the very low days on market numbers, homes are selling quickly, and because of that, prices are moving higher.

The median sales price in July 2017 was $178,000 compared with $176,000 for July 2016. So it doesn’t appear from this single comparison that values are changing much at all.

The better picture is comparing the trend-line values. Here is a 12-month trailing average of each month’s median value you can see reflected in the red line in the attached chart.

The trend-line mark for July 2016 was $154,936. Fast-forward 12 months, and this value is now $166,887. That’s good for a 7.71 percent gain. For a city that typically realizes 4 percent annual appreciation on our homes, this year’s gain is quite amazing. Home ownership is currently paying off … big time.

The lack of housing inventory in Louisville remains a real problem for prospective buyers, but at this point, it’s not slowing¬†sales as much as it is forcing sale prices higher.