Existing-home sales dropped by 2.2 percent from August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.38 million in September, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). This followed two consecutive months of increases. Sales are 3.9 percent above the September 2018 level.
Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said that despite historically low mortgage rates, sales have not commensurately increased, in part due to a low level of new housing options. “We must continue to beat the drum for more inventory,” said Yun, who has called for additional home construction for over a year. “Home prices are rising too rapidly because of the housing shortage, and this lack of inventory is preventing home sales growth potential.”
The total housing inventory was 1.83 million, roughly unchanged from August but a 2.7% decrease from 1.88 million a year ago. The median home price was $272,100, up 5.9% from September 2018. This increase marks the 91st straight month of year-over-year gains.
Distressed sales were 2 percent of the total, unchanged from last month and down from 3 percent in September 2018.
Read the NAR release.