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New Home Sales Sink in September

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The U.S. Census Bureau reported that the sales of new single-family homes fell 0.7% in September to a seasonally adjusted rate of 701,000—still 15.5% above September 2018’s annual rate. 

Just one region—the Midwest—posted month-over-month increases in home sales at 6.3%. The Northeast posted a 2.8% decline, home sales dipped 0.2% in the South, and the West reported a dip of 3.3%. 

First American Financial Corporation previously reported that existing-home sales in September where flat—dropping just 0.02% month-over-month. 

The market for potential existing-home sales rose 3.8% year-over-year, but the current SAAR is 18.6% below the pre-recession peak of market potential set in March 2004. 

Additionally, the market for existing-home sales is underperforming its potential by 0.04%, or an estimated 2,340 (SAAR) sales. 

“In September of last year, rates were forecasted to continue to rise, as many experts believed the Federal Reserve would continue to increase the Federal Funds rate and put more upward pressure on mortgage rates. Rising rates reduce home-buying power and decrease market potential for existing-home sales,” said Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American. 

The Census Bureau states housing supply was unchanged at 5.5-months supply from August to September, but declined 14% from September 2018.

The number of homes for sales in September also saw month-over-month declines, falling 0.6% from August. 

Median-sale prices fell to $299,400 from August’s $325,200 and down annually from last September's median-sales price of  $328,300.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s House Price Index revealed that home prices in August rose slightly by 0.2% and 4.6% higher than in August 2018. 

The previously reported 0.4% increase for July 2019 is unchanged. Three regions posted month-over-month declines: Mountain (-0.1%), South Atlantic (0.1%), and the East South Central (-0.8%).

All regions posted year-over-year increases, but the New England region’s price was unchanged at 5%.

The Pacific region saw the largest drop in price growth, falling from 7.1% to 3.9% in August 2019. Price growth in the South Atlantic region fell from 7% to 4.2% and the Mountain region saw growth slow to 6.5% from last year’s 9% increase.

 The Census Bureau, however, did report increases in the number of homes sold, as 527,000 homes have been sold year-to-date compared to 491,000 last year. 

About Author: Mike Albanese

A graduate of the University of Alabama, Mike Albanese has worked for news publications since 2011 in Texas and Colorado. He has built a portfolio of more than 1,000 articles, covering city government, police and crime, business, sports, and is experienced in crafting engaging features and enterprise pieces. He spent time as the sports editor for the "Pilot Point Post-Signal," and has covered the DFW Metroplex for several years. He has also assisted with sports coverage and editing duties with the "Dallas Morning News" and "Denton Record-Chronicle" over the past several years.
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