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Market Update: Existing Home Sales

The National Association of Realtors [1] (NAR) recently released its Existing Home Sales report—discovering that despite three straight months of home sales declining, September sales showed a small incline.

Amidst the ongoing narrative of supply shortages, the report found that total existing-home sales increased by 0.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million in September from 5.35 million in August.

However, despite this slight increase, "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,” said NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.

According to Yun, closings faced an insufficient gain in September possibly due to the recent hurricanes. Adding that, “sales activity likely would have been somewhat stronger if not for the fact that parts of Texas and South Florida – hit by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma – saw temporary, but notable declines.”

The report notes that the median existing-home price for all housing types in September was $245,100—representing a 4.2 percent increase from last year at $235,200. In addition, this price increase for September marks the 67th straight month of year-over-year gains, according to NAR.

At the end of September, totally housing inventory increased 1.6 percent to 1.90 million existing homes available for sale, “but still remains 6.4 percent lower than a year ago at 2.03 million, and has fallen year-over-year for 28 consecutive months.”

Meanwhile, the report notes that sold inventory is at a 4.2-month supply at the current sales pace—a decline from 4.5 months a year ago.

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

To view the full report, click here [2].