First-time Buyers Steer Existing-Home Sales Higher in September

By HOM Editor

Fast Fact: Distressed sales fell to a new low of 4 percent of the market in September.

Existing-home sales rebounded strongly in September and were propelled by sales from first-time buyers reaching a 34 percent share, which is a high not seen in over four years. All major regions saw an increase in closings last month, and distressed sales fell to a new low of 4 percent of the market.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the two-month slump in existing sales reversed course convincingly in September. “The home search over the past several months for a lot of prospective buyers, and especially for first-time buyers, took longer than usual because of the competition for the minimal amount of homes for sale,” he said. “Most families and move-up buyers look to close before the new school year starts. Their diminishing presence from the market towards the end of summer created more opportunities for aspiring first-time homeowners to buy last month.”

“Inventory has been extremely tight all year and is unlikely to improve now that the seasonal decline in listings is about to kick in,” added Yun. “Unfortunately, there won’t be much relief from new home construction, which continues to be grossly inadequate in relation to demand.”


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