Existing-home sales decreased 3.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.15 million in September, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). This followed a 0.2 percent decline in August. Sales are 4.1 percent below the September 2017 level.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says rising interest rates have led to a decline in sales across all regions of the country. “This is the lowest existing home sales level since November 2015,” he said. “A decade’s high mortgage rates are preventing consumers from making quick decisions on home purchases. All the while, affordable home listings remain low, continuing to spur underperforming sales activity across the country.”
The total housing inventory remained declined to 1.88 million homes available for sale, but is up from 1.86 million a year ago. The median existing home price was $258,100, up 4.2 percent from September 2017 ($247,600). This marks the 79th 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.