Real estate brokerage Redfin reported a 2.2 percent monthly increase in customers requesting tours with the company's agents last month, about half the improvement recorded this time last year. Though the uptick wasn’t as strong as it was in 2013, Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson said the late season pickup suggests housing activity will hold steady through November before finally slumping over the holidays.
At the same time, 6.8 percent more customers signed offers on houses than in August. While that increase was down from 12.5 percent last year, Redfin reports fewer of those offers faced competition from other shoppers. With historical data suggesting a correlation between signed offers and home sales 30 to 45 days in the future, the company says the rise in offers is another reason to expect an increase in sales in October and November in most markets.
After predicting a 9 percent month-over-month drop in new home sales for August, the Mortgage Bankers Association expects sales volume for the month of September to remain essentially unchanged. In a release on Thursday, MBA estimated new single-family home sales ran last month at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 425,000 units, just up from a rate of 424 thousand units in August. The association's monthly estimate serves as a leading indicator of new home sales activity, preceding the government's figures by weeks. For August, the Commerce Department estimated sales of new homes were at a seasonally adjusted yearly rate of 504,000, a number that some analysts say isn't likely to hold up in future revisions.