Existing-home sales fell 0.4% in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.80 million, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Sales fell year-over-year, down 19.9% from August 2021. First-time buyers were responsible for 29% of sales in August, consistent with July 2022 and August 2021.
“The housing sector is the most sensitive to and experiences the most immediate impacts from the Federal Reserve’s interest rate policy changes,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “The softness in home sales reflects this year’s escalating mortgage rates. Nonetheless, homeowners are doing well with near nonexistent distressed property sales and home prices still higher than a year ago.”
The total housing inventory in August was 1.28 million units, down 1.5% from July’s inventory and unchanged from one year ago. The median home price was $389,500, up 7.7% from August 2021 ($361,600), as prices rose in every region. This marks 126 consecutive months of year-over-year gains, the longest-running streak on record.
Distressed sales—foreclosures and short sales—represented less than 1% of sales in August, essentially unchanged from the June 2022 and July 2021.
Read the NAR release.