Existing home sales fell for the sixth straight month in September, down 3.4% to an annual pace of 5.15 million following a decline of 0.2% in August to an annual rate of 5.33 million. Existing home sales are trending lower and are down 4.1% from September 2017.
Regionally, sales dropped moderately in all areas of the country except for the Midwest where they remained unchanged. The inventory of homes available for sale fell 1.6% on the month to 1.880 million which represents just a 4.4-month supply at the current sales pace.
Inventories managed to gain 1.1% on the year. Clearly, such low supply on the market is constraining sales and lifting prices, though we are seeing house price gains soften. House prices moved higher over the past year as the median price for an existing home gained 4.2% in September to $258,100. NAR chief economist, Lawrence Yun says rising interest rates have led to sales declines across all regions of the country.
He noted “A decade’s high mortgage rates are preventing consumers from making quick decisions on home purchases. All the while, affordable home listings remain low, continuing to spur underperforming sales activity across the country.”
**Source: Haver Data, National Association of Realtors | © 2018 Economic Focus, Inc. All rights reserved.
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