Existing-home sales in October, although still healthy, fell from September’s spike, as home supply remains low, consumers have fewer options to choose from, and affordability issues persist in some markets.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported Monday that total existing-home sales declined 3.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.36 million in October, down from 5.55 million in September. However, NAR noted that even with the decline in October, existing-home sales are up 3.9 percent year-over-year when the number hit 5.16 million.
"New and existing-home supply has struggled to improve so far this fall, leading to few choices for buyers and no easement of the ongoing affordability concerns still prevalent in some markets," said Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist. "Furthermore, the mixed signals of slowing economic growth and volatility in the financial markets slightly tempered demand and contributed to the decreasing pace of sales."
Yun continued, "As long as solid job creation continues, a gradual easing of credit standards even with moderately higher mortgage rates should support steady demand and sales continuing to rise above a year ago."
According to the NAR, the median existing-home price in October was $219,600, up 5.8 percent year-over-year from $207,500. This will mark the 44th consecutive month of year-over-year increases.
The report also showed that inventory levels among existing-homes fell 2.3 percent to 2.14 million in October, and is down 4.5 percent year-over-year when the total was 2.24 million. Meanwhile, unsold inventory was at a 4.8-month supply in October, a slight increase from 4.7 in September.
Single-family home sales reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.75 million in October, down 3.7 percent from 4.93 million in September, the report found. However, single-family sales are still 4.6 percent above the 4.54 million pace a year ago. The median existing single-family home price rose 6.3 percent year-over-year to $221,200 in October.
NAR’s report showed that fall four major regions saw no gains in existing-home sales in October.
- Northeast Existing-Home Sales- Annual rate of 760,000, unchanged from September and 8.6 percent above a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $248,900, 1.3 percent above October 2014.
- Midwest Existing-Home Sales- Annual rate of 1.30 million in October, down 0.8 percent month-over-month, but 8.3 percent above October 2014. The median price in the Midwest was $172,300, up 5.7 percent from a year ago.
- South Existing-Home Sales- Annual rate of 2.14 million in October, down 3.2 percent from September, but still 0.5 percent above October 2014. The median price in the South was $188,800, up 6.2 percent from a year ago.
- West Existing-Home Sales- Annual rate of 1.16 million in October, down 8.7 percent from last month, but still 2.7 percent above a year ago. The median price in the West was $319,000, which is 8.0 percent above October 2014.
Click here to view the full report.