The U.S. remained a strong seller’s market in September as inventory and sales dropped nationwide, according to a Redfin report released Thursday. Prices, meanwhile, in cities like San Jose, California, and Tucson, Arizona, surged.
September marked the third month in a row that home sales fell, as transactions took an 8.1% dive compared to last year—the largest decline posted since July 2016, the report said—and down 17.1% from August.
The report did not highlight luxury sales figures.
The total number of homes for sale dropped too, down 10.9% to 754,800, marking the 24th straight month of declining inventory. The number of new listings in September fell 7.7% from a year ago, leaving 3.3 months of supply, the report said. Less than six months of supply signals that the market is tilted in favor of sellers.
“The housing market is running on fumes due to low inventory,” said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson in the report. “September marks the first time since 2014 that we’ve seen three consecutive months of year-over-year sales declines.”
On the bright side, price-growth remains strong, up 7.6% in September to a national median sales price of $288,000 across all 75 metro areas Redfin tracks. That median price, though, was 1% less than last month ($293,000).
San Jose, had the highest price growth of the cities Redfin tracks, rising 16.3% since last year to a median of $1 million, though it also had the largest decrease in overall inventory, falling 51.7% since last September.
Tucson had the second highest price growth at 15.8% year-over-year, followed by Tacoma, Washington, at 14.5%.
Seattle, which saw last month’s highest price growth, dropped to fifth place in September. But the city had the fastest moving market, with nearly half of all homes pending sale in just 10 days, down from 12 days a year earlier, according to the report.
In Hurricane Irma’s aftermath, home sales in Miami and Fort Lauderdale declined 38.4% and 32.4% respectively in September. On the other hand, markets affected by Hurricane Harvey, like Houston, are rebounding quickly in terms of sales, boding well for the disrupted Floridian market, the report said.
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