Existing-home sales increased 0.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million in September, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Sales were 1.5% above last September after declining in each of the three preceding months.
“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,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “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.”
The total housing inventory rose 1.6% to 1.9 million homes available for sale, but remained 6.4% lower than last September, the 28th consecutive month of year-over-year decline. The median existing home price was $245,100, up 4.2% from September 2016 ($235,200). This marks the 67th straight month of year-over-year gains.
Distressed sales were 4% of the total in September, unchanged from both August and a year ago. Three percent of sales were foreclosures, and 1% were short sales.
Read the NAR release.