In August, supply started to stabilize and demand got a little weaker. In September, these cooling trends continued to the next level with supply starting to grow and demand weakening again, just slightly. The Cromford® Market Index moved from around the 148 mark at the start of August to around 144 at the beginning of October. Despite reversing the gains in August, it’s not enough of a change to feel a big difference. Bottom line, the market balance moved to give sellers a little less of an advantage.
The Cromford® Market Index shows sales were up 12% from September last year, better than the difference last month (9%) but not as strong as July (16%). Keep in mind, September 2014 was an easy comparison as the market was still in the doldrums at that point.
In the last year, active listings (excluding UCB) are down 14.8% but up 4.8% from last month. Including UCB, active listings are down 11.8% but up 3.7% compared to last month. The monthly median sales price is $211,000 vs. $195,000 last year, up 8.2%. The price trends are probably the most positive aspect, according to the Index.
When it comes to looking at the market by price, The Cromford® Market Index says it becomes clear that the top end is the one contributing the greatest cooling effect. Weakness in the stock market also tends to impact only the top end of the housing market. The poor performance of stocks during the third quarter may take at least some of the blame for the deterioration of the market above $1 million.
It was a great second quarter this year for the luxury market. Since jumbo loans are still very popular with lenders, the luxury market could recover quickly if the stock market bounces back. However, if the stock market doesn’t do well over the next year, then homes over $1 million are likely to follow. The picture looks much more positive for homes under $500,000.