Existing Home Sales Fall

(Illustration courtesy of National Association of Realtors)

Existing home sales dipped 2% in September, the National Association of Realtors reported Thursday.

Total existing home sales – completed transactions including single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – waned 2.0% from August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.96 million in September. Year-over-year, sales dropped 15.4% (down from 4.68 million in September 2022).

Among the four major U.S. regions, sales rose in the Northeast but receded in the Midwest, South and West. All four regions registered year-over-year sales declines.

“As has been the case throughout this year, limited inventory and low housing affordability continue to hamper home sales,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said. “The Federal Reserve simply cannot keep raising interest rates in light of softening inflation and weakening job gains.”

The report said total housing inventory at the end of September equaled 1.13 million units, up 2.7% from August but down 8.1% from one year ago. Unsold inventory sits at a 3.4-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 3.3 months in August and 3.2 months in September 2022.

NAR noted the median existing home price for all housing types in September was $394,300, up 2.8% from September 2022 ($383,500). All four U.S. regions posted price increases.

“For the third straight month, home prices are up from a year ago, confirming the pressing need for more housing supply,” Yun said.

The report said distressed sales – foreclosures and short sales – represented 1% of sales in September, unchanged from last month and from the previous year.