“Despite persistent inventory shortages, the housing market has made great strides this year,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.
Existing-home sales rebounded strongly in September following August’s decline and have now increased year-over-year for 12 consecutive months, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.
Total existing-home sales increased 4.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.55 million in September from a slightly downwardly revised 5.30 million in August, and are now 8.8 percent above a year ago (5.10 million).
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says a slight moderation in home prices in some markets and mortgage rates remaining below 4 percent gave more households the confidence to close on a home last month.
“September home sales bounced back solidly after slowing in August and are now at their second highest pace since February 2007 (5.79 million),” he said. “While current price growth around 6 percent is still roughly double the pace of wages, affordability has slightly improved since the spring and is helping to keep demand at a strong and sustained pace.”
The median existing-home price for all housing types in September was $221,900, which is 6.1 percent above September 2014 ($209,100). September’s price increase marks the 43rd consecutive month of year-over-year gains.
Total housing inventory at the end of September decreased 2.6 percent to 2.21 million existing homes available for sale, and is now 3.1 percent lower than a year ago (2.28 million). Unsold inventory is at a 4.8-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 5.1 months in August.
“Despite persistent inventory shortages, the housing market has made great strides this year, backed by an increasing share of pent-up sellers realizing the increased equity they’ve gained from rising home prices and using it towards trading up or moving into a smaller home,” says Yun.