Existing-home sales bounce back in September

by Francis Monfort24 Oct 2017
Sales of existing homes increased in September following three consecutive months of declines, according to the National Association of Realtors.

On a year-over-year basis, however, completed sale transactions for single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops fell as supply shortages continued and recent hurricanes muted overall activity.

Total existing-home sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million in September, a 0.7% increase from the 5.35 million rate in August. The September sales pace is 1.5% below the year-ago period and follows August as the second slowest month over the past year.

“Home sales in recent months remain at their lowest level of the year and are unable to break through, despite considerable buyer interest in most parts of the country,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said. “Realtors this fall continue to say the primary impediments stifling sales growth are the same as they have been all year: not enough listings – especially at the lower end of the market – and fast-rising prices that are straining the budgets of prospective buyers.”

During the month, the median price for all types of existing homes was $245,100, an increase of 4.2% from the $235,200 median price in the year-ago period. The latest increase represents the 67th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.

NAR also said that total housing inventory was at 1.90 million existing homes available for sale at the end of September, a 1.6% increase. However, the inventory continues to be lower by 6.4% than the same period last year.

“A continuation of last month's alleviating price growth, which was the slowest since last December (4.5%), would improve affordability conditions and be good news for the would-be buyers who have been held back by higher prices this year,” Yun said.

Related stories:
California existing-home sales rise, but prices slip
Two regions trigger pull-back in existing home sales


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