Existing-Home Sales Drop 1.7% in August

Existing-home sales decreased 1.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.35 million in August, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Sales were 0.2% above last August and the lowest since then.

“Steady employment gains, slowly rising incomes and lower mortgage rates generated sustained buyer interest all summer long, but unfortunately, not more home sales,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “What’s ailing the housing market and continues to weigh on overall sales is the inadequate levels of available inventory and the upward pressure it’s putting on prices in several parts of the country. Sales have been unable to break out because there are simply not enough homes for sale.”

The total housing inventory fell 2.1% to 1.88 million homes available for sale, and is 6.5% lower than last August, the 27th consecutive month of year-over-year decline. The median existing home price was $255,500, up 5.6% from August 2016 ($237,600). This marks the 66th straight month of year-over-year gains.

Distressed sales were 4% of the total in August, down from 5% both in July and a year ago. Three percent of sales were foreclosures, and 1% were short sales.

Read the NAR release.

About Stephen Newton

Stephen Newton is an economic research associate at ABA.
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