Existing Sales Sink Even Further

Existing-home sales sunk even further in September, with all regions seeing declines.

Sales fell by 2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.96 million, according to the latest data from the National Association of Realtors.

Leaders there say sales retreated 15.4% from one year ago.

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

All regions saw sales slip last month, with the formerly-hot Northeast and Midwest joining the South and West in declines.

The median price for an existing home rose 2.8% YOY to $394,300, and prices rose in every region.

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

NAR’s research added to surprise data showing an uptick in inventory. September’s inventory of unsold homes rose 2.7% month-over-month to 1.13 million.

This is a 3.4-month supply at the current sales pace, an improvement.

Some sellers have been forced to brave the high-interest rate environment and list their homes. But many buyers have backed out as rates inch towards 8%, causing a jump in listings.

However, stock remains low enough to foster competition for the best homes available.

“Inventory is low enough that most move-in ready, well-priced homes are going quickly,” Nashville, TN, real estate agent Kristin Sanchez told Redfin“But sellers who are pricing unrealistically high are seeing their homes sit on the market, and many are forced to accept offers under asking price.”

The typical home stayed on the market for 21 days, while 69% of homes sold were on the market for less than a month.

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