SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The number of homes sold in October was up 2.2 percent year over year, marking the first month of 2014 during which home sales clearly outpaced 2013, according to Redfin (www.redfin.com), the customer-first real estate brokerage. September’s growth was essentially flat at 0.3 percent, and every other month this year has seen a year-over-year decline in homes sales.
The housing market overall benefited in October from a dip in mortgage rates to under 4 percent, a drop in unemployment to 5.8 percent and a continuing slowdown in home price appreciation to 3.8 percent year over year. But Redfin looked deeper at the markets with the strongest sales growth year over year, and found that two other factors played a key role: income growth and, even more important, September’s much-awaited increase in the number of homes for sale, which gave buyers a reason to act in October.
The five metro areas that saw the strongest year-over-year sales growth in October were Tampa and Orlando, Florida; Portland, Oregon; Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; and Boulder, Colorado. In all except Orlando, median incomes have increased from last year. (Orlando was exceptional because it has strong investor home-buying activity.)
Income growth was not the only factor affecting home sales (urban economies are too complex to boil housing activity down to a single criterion), nor did wage growth have to be dramatic. For example, home sales in Raleigh-Durham were up 13 percent from last year, as a relatively flat income increases (0.7 percent) still outpaced mild house price appreciation (0.3 percent).
To read the full report, complete with data and insights regarding market-by-market changes in home inventory and prices, please visit: http://www.redfin.com/research/reports/real-time-housing-market-tracker/2014/redfin-market-tracker-october-2014.html.
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Redfin (www.redfin.com) is a customer-first real estate brokerage that represents people buying and selling homes. Founded and run by technologists, Redfin has a team of experienced, full-service real estate agents who are advocates, not salespeople, earning customer-satisfaction bonuses, not commissions. Redfin.com features all the broker-listed homes for sale, as well as for-sale-by-owner properties that don’t pay brokers a commission. Redfin also offers online tools that make the entire process of buying or selling a home easier and more fun. The company serves major markets across the U.S. and has closed nearly $20 billion in home sales. In 2012, Redfin was named one of The DIGITAL 100: World’s Most Valuable Private Tech Companies by Business Insider.