NAR: Existing-home sales rebound in September

by John Yellig

Existing-home sales returned to positive territory in September, as the median price also posted a month-over-month gain, the National Association of Realtors said.  

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions including single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, jumped 7% from August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.29 million in September. Year over year, however, sales slid 2.3% from 6.44 million transactions in September 2020.  

The median existing-home price for all housing types in September was $352,800, up 13.3% on an annual basis, as every region in the country registered price increases. The increase marks 115 straight months of year-over-year gains, the NAR said in a press release 

Total housing inventory at the end of September stood at 1.27 million units, down 0.8% from August and down 13% from a year earlier. September’s unsold inventory represents a 2.4-month supply at the current sales pace, down 7.7% from August and down from 2.7 months in September 2020.  

“Some improvement in supply during prior months helped nudge up sales in September,” NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said in the release. “Housing demand remains strong as buyers likely want to secure a home before mortgage rates increase even further next year.” 

Properties typically remained on the market for 17 days in September, flat from August but down from 21 days in September 2020. Eighty-six percent of homes sold in September were on the market for less than a month.  

By property type, single-family home sales hit a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.59 million, up 7.7% from 5.19 million in August but down 3.1% from a year earlier. The median existing single-family home price was $359,700, up 13.8% on a year-over-year basis.   

Existing condominium and co-op sales came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 700,000 units, up 1.4% from 690,000 in August and up 4.5% from a year earlier. The median existing condo price rose 9.3% year over year to $297,900. 

The average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional fixed-rate mortgage was 2.90% in September, down from 2.84% in August, NAR said, citing Freddie Mac.   

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