Existing-Home Sales Unchanged in August

Existing-home sales were unchanged at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.34 million in August, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). This followed a 0.7 percent decline in July. Sales are 1.5 percent below the August 2017 level.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the decline in existing home sales appears to have hit a plateau with robust regional sales. “Strong gains in the Northeast and a moderate uptick in the Midwest helped to balance out any losses in the South and West, halting months of downward momentum,” he said. “With inventory stabilizing and modestly rising, buyers appear ready to step back into the market.”

The total housing inventory remained unchanged at 1.92 million homes available for sale, but is up from 1.87 million a year ago. The median existing home price was $264,800, up 4.6 percent from August 2017 ($253,100). This marks the 78th straight month of year-over-year gains.

Distressed sales were 3.0 percent of the total, unchanged from last month and down 4.0 percent from a year ago. Two percent of sales were foreclosures, and 1.0 percent were short sales.

Read the NAR release.

About Jack McCabe

Jack McCabe is a research associate in the Economic Policy and Research group at the ABA.
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