Existing Home Sales Flat in August But Down From a Year Ago


After four consecutive months of declines, existing-home sales were at a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.34 million in August, flat compared with July but down 1.5% compared with August 2017, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Regionally, existing-home sales increased 7.6% in the Northeast and 2.4% in the Midwest, compared with July. However, existing-home sales decreased 5.9% in the West and 0.4% in the South.

The median existing-home price for all housing types (including condos and co-ops) in August was $264,800, up 4.6% from $253,100 in August 2017.

August’s average home price increase marks the 78th straight month of year-over-year gains.

Total housing inventory at the end of August also remained unchanged from July at 1.92 million existing homes available for sale. However, that is up from 1.87 million a year ago.

That’s about a 4.3-month supply at the current sales pace.

Properties typically stayed on the market for 29 days in August, up from 27 days in July but down from 30 days a year ago.

About 52% of homes sold in August were on the market for less than a month.

“While inventory continues to show modest year over year gains, it is still far from a healthy level and new home construction is not keeping up to satisfy demand,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR, in a statement. “Homes continue to fly off the shelves with a majority of properties selling within a month, indicating that more inventory – especially moderately priced, entry-level homes – would propel sales.”

The average rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage in August was 4.55%, according to NAR’s data, up from 4.53% in July.

“Rising interests rates along with high home prices and lack of inventory continues to push entry-level and first time home buyers out of the market,” Yun adds. “Realtors continue to report that the demand is there – that current renters want to become homeowners – but there simply are not enough properties available in their price range.”

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments