U.S. existing home sales move higher in September

Ross Houston
October 22, 2017

The median price of an existing home increased by 4.2% from a year ago to $245,100 with the inventory of unsold homes left standing at the equivalent of 4.2 months' worth of sales, versus 4.5 months in September 2016.

As expected, property flooding and continued consumer demand for homes lowered inventory levels.

As of September, inventory had fallen year-over-year for 28 consecutive months. However, the overall housing sector has been slowing as the number of properties available has not kept up with demand. The sales price for single-family homes increased by 4.2 percentage points to $246,800. Three percent of September sales were foreclosures, and 1 percent were short sales.

Distressed sales, which include foreclosures and short sales, were at 4 percent - unchanged from last month and a year ago.

Pricing never skipped a beat during or after Harvey. Texas and Florida make up more than 18 percent of the nation's existing home sales.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast sales falling 1.0 percent to a rate of 5.30 million units last month. Both figures are record highs for a September.

Still, sales across the US continue to be held back by low supplies and high prices.

To take note of, although sales of single family homes jumped by 1.1% versus August, those for multi-family homes dropped by 1.6%.

With surprising but welcome improvement from the Harvey-influenced August report, Houston's September housing market indicators provided positive readings across the board as single-family home sales, total property sales, median and average pricing, total dollar volume and inventory were all up compared to September 2016. Total active listings, or the total number of available properties in the marketplace, rose 7.4 percent from September 2016 to 40,848.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released its Existing Home Sales report-discovering that despite three straight months of home sales declining, September sales showed a small incline.

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