Existing Home Sales Mark First Fall in 3 Months in September, But Still ‘Trending Higher’ for 2019

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Sales of existing homes fell for the first time in three months in September as housing prices increased and inventory declined, according to the National Association of Realtors. Existing home sales last month fell 2.2% from August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.38 million, the industry group said Tuesday. The result was short of expectations for 5.44 million.

All four regions in the country suffered a drop in sales, with the Midwest hit the hardest. Among the data, the single-family index slumped 2.6% on a month-over-month basis at 4.78 million units. The condo and co-op component, however, rose 1.7% to 600,000.

The median sales price fell to $272,100, declining to a revised $278,900 in August. Meanwhile, September’s supply of homes crept up to 4.1 months from four months in August, while remaining near the low end of the spectrum.

“Home prices are rising too rapidly because of the housing shortage, and this lack of inventory is preventing home sales growth potential,” Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, said in a statement.

Looking on a 12-month basis, prices have risen 5.9%, with gains in all regions. Overall, existing home sales have increased by 3.9% from a year ago.

“These numbers are noisy over short periods, and this September’s dip in sales does not change the big picture; existing home sales are trending higher,” said Pantheon Chief Economist Ian Shepardson in a note. “The increase in mortgage applications to cycle highs in the past couple of months point to clear gains in sales through the year-end and into early 2020, propelled by the steep drop in mortgage rates.”

This post was originally published on Health Opinion

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