Existing-home sales in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.96 million, a decrease of 2% compared with August and down 15.4% compared with September 2022, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Among the four major U.S. regions, sales rose in the Northeast but receded in the Midwest, South and West. All four regions registered year-over-year sales declines.
NAR includes sales of existing townhomes, condominiums and co-ops in with its results.
“As has been the case throughout this year, limited inventory and low housing affordability continue to hamper home sales,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR. “The Federal Reserve simply cannot keep raising interest rates in light of softening inflation and weakening job gains.”
Total housing inventory in September was up 2.7% compared with August.
However, total housing inventory was down 8.1% from one year ago.
As of the end of September, there were about was 1.13 million existing homes available for sale in the U.S. – about a 3.4-month supply at the current sales pace.
The median existing-home price for all housing types in September was $394,300, an increase of 2.8% from September 2022.
All-cash sales accounted for 29% of transactions in September, up from 27% in August and 22% in September 2022.
Individual investors or second-home buyers, who make up many cash sales, purchased 18% of homes in September, up from 16% in August and 15% one year ago.
Photo: Ian MacDonald