Sales of Existing Homes Rebound in September
November 1st, 2014 8:22 AM
After a modest decline in August, sales of existing homes bounced back in September to their highest annual pace of the year in most major regions, except for the Midwest, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported Oct. 21. 

Completed transactions in September for single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 2.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.17 million, up from 5.05 million in August. Sales are now at their highest pace of 2014, but still remain 1.7 percent below the 5.26 million-unit level from September 2013.
The median price for existing homes in September was $209,700, which is 5.6 percent above the September 2013 price, and marks the 31st consecutive month of year-over-year price gains.

Total housing inventory at the end of September fell 1.3 percent to 2.3 million existing homes, representing a 5.3-month supply at the current sales pace. Despite fewer homes for sale in September, unsold inventory is still 6 percent higher than one year ago, when there were 2.17 million existing homes for sale, NAR reported.

All-cash sales accounted for 24 percent of September home sales, up 23 percent from August but down from 33 percent of one year ago. Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 14 percent of homes in September, up from 12 percent in August but down from 19 percent one year ago. 

The share of first-time buyers continues to underperform historically, remaining at 29 percent for the third consecutive month. First-time buyers have represented less than 30 percent of all buyers in 17 of the past 18 months, NAR reported.

Distressed homes, which include foreclosures and short sales, accounted for 10 percent of September home sales, down from 14 percent one year ago. Foreclosures and short sales sold for an average 14 percent below market value.          

Regionally, September existing-home sales in the Northeast climbed 1.5 percent to an annual rate of 680,000, but remained 1.4 percent below year-ago sales. The median price in the Northeast was $249,800, which is 4.8 percent higher than one year ago.


Posted by James M. Hanson on November 1st, 2014 8:22 AMPost a Comment

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