Following a summer of a declining number of closed sales, the fall season has shown to have reversed the trend of slowing sales. Despite an ongoing shortage of supply and recent hurricanes which have caused their challenges in certain regions, a somewhat typical increase in activity for fall has been seen.
The total existing home sales, which includes sold transactions of townhomes, single-family homes, condominiums and coops increased by 0.7% to an adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million for September. This was an increase from 5.35 million in August although the sales pace is 1.5% below last year’s pace.
Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors chief economist, has shared “Home sales in recent months remain at their lowest level of the year and are unable to break through, despite considerable buyer interest in most parts of the country,” he said. “Realtors® this fall continue to say the primary impediments stifling sales growth are the same as they have been all year: not enough listings – especially at the lower end of the market – and fast-rising prices that are straining the budgets of prospective buyers.”
Added Yun, “Sales activity likely would have been somewhat stronger if not for the fact that parts of Texas and South Florida – hit by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma – saw temporary, but notable declines.”
The median existing home price for all property types was $245,100 for the month of September. This was an increase by 4.2% over last year at the same time. This was also the 67th month of consecutive gains.
The number of homes available for sale had risen by 1.6% to 1.9 million available for sale in September for fall market, yet this is still 6.4% lower than last year. “A continuation of last month’s alleviating price growth, which was the slowest since last December (4.5 percent), would improve affordability conditions and be good news for the would-be buyers who have been held back by higher prices this year,” said Yun.
Nearly two-thirds of renters still think that now is a great time to buy, yet increasing prices and limited inventory is making it difficult for this group to reach the market.