Existing Home Sales - October Report
Last Updated: 10/15/2014

Home Sales Pace

U.S. existing-home sales dipped in August as investors left the market, according to the National Association of Realtors, while prices fell for the second month in a row.

Sales of existing homes fell 1.8 percent in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.05 million, down from 5.14 million in July, and are down 5.3 percent from the previous year.

"There was a marked decline in all-cash sales from investors,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. "On the positive side, first-time buyers have a better chance of purchasing a home now that bidding wars are receding and supply constraints have significantly eased in many parts of the country.”

The median home price dropped to $219,800, down from July’s downwardly-revised $221,600, although the price is still 4.8 percent higher than during August 2013. Prices have now risen on a year-over-year basis for 30 straight months.

The NAR defines existing homes as all previously-owned single-family homes, townhouses, condominiums, and co-ops. The group “seasonally adjusts” the sales numbers to factor in things like inclement weather, school sessions, winter holidays, etc. to smooth out the trends.

The NAR also describes its sales data based on an annual pace. The monthly figure represents the total number of housing units that would be sold in one year if the current rate were to continue unchanged.

Sales Pace by Region

In August, sales gains in the Northeast and Midwest were outweighed by declines in the South and West.

In the Northeast, sales grew 4.7 percent to an annual pace of 670,000, up from 640,000 in July, but were down 4.3 percent from the year before.

The Midwest saw sales increase by 2.5 percent to an annual rate of 1.24 million, up from 1.21 million. Compared with August 2013, sales were down 3.9 percent however.

In the South sales slumped 4.2 percent to an annual level of 2.03 million in August, down from 2.12 million and were also down 4.2 percent from the previous year.

Sales dropped 5.1 percent in the West to an annual pace of 1.11 million, down from 1.17 million in July and fell 9.8 percent from August 2013 sales.

Sales Price by Region

The median price fell in every part of the country in August. In the Northeast, the median sank to $265,800 from July’s $273,600. Prices are 8.0 percent lower than they were a year ago.

The Midwest median price slipped to $173,800, down from $174,900 in July and prices are down 5.9 percent there compared with last year.

In the South, the median price fell to $186,700 in August, down from $190,100 the month before and down 4.7 percent from a year earlier.

The West saw the median price dip down to $301,900 from $302,100 in July. Compared with August 2013, prices were up 5.4 percent.

Inventory

The number of existing homes for sale in the U.S. decreased 1.7 percent to 2.31 million properties in August. At the current sales pace that represents a 5.5-month supply, unchanged from July’s 5.5-month supply. Inventory is 4.5 percent higher than August 2013 though. Realtors consider the market to be balanced between supply and demand when there is a 6-month supply.

Next Report

Data for September existing home sales, prices, and inventory will be available at the end of October.

Month-to-Month Appreciation Graphs, regional and nationwide - click here.




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