Home sales

Existing home sales increase slightly, but inventories are tightening again

Sales of existing homes increased in October, second consecutive month of growth. The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) said sales of used single-family homes, townhouses, condos and co-op apartments were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.34 million units. That rate was 0.8% higher than the 6.290 million rate in September, but 5.8% lower than the 6.73 million rate recorded a year earlier.

Single-family home sales rose 1.3%, from 5.59 million in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.66 million, but this was 5.8% behind sales October 2020. Condominium and co-op sales fell 2.9% month over month to 680,000 units and were down 5.6% on an annual basis.

The sales were slightly higher than expected by analysts surveyed by Econoday and Trading Economics. Both had projected a consensus rate of 6.2 million.

Home sales remain resilient, despite low inventories and growing affordability challenges,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of NAR. “Inflationary pressures, such as rapidly rising rents and rising consumer prices, may cause some potential buyers to seek the protection of a fixed, constant mortgage payment.”

The median selling price of existing homes rose 13.1% year-on-year to $ 353,900, the 116th consecutive month of year-over-year increase and the longest streak on record. Single-family home prices rose 13.5% to a median of $ 350,800, while condo prices rose 8.7% to a median of $ 296,700.

The supply of available-for-sale housing fell again, this time by 0.8%, to 1.25 million units. This is 12.0% fewer registrations than a year earlier. The unsold inventory is estimated at a supply of 2.4 months at the current pace of sales, unchanged from September and down from 2.5 months in October 2020.

“Among some of the workforce, there is a continuing trend for flexibility to work anywhere, which has contributed to increased sales in some parts of the country,” Yun said. “Record-breaking stock markets and all-time highest house prices have helped to dramatically increase total consumer wealth and, coupled with extensive remote working flexibility, increased demand for housing in holiday regions. . “

Properties typically remained on the market for 18 days in October, down from 17 days in September, but 3 days less than in October 2020. Eighty-two percent of homes sold in October 2021 had been on the market for less than ‘a month.
In October, first-time buyers represented 29% of sales, down from 28% in September and down from 32% in October 2020. Individual investors or second home buyers represented 17% of sales compared to 14% a year ago earlier. . Twenty-four percent of sales were all made in cash, 1 percentage point more than in September and up from 19% in October 2020.

Speaking on behalf of the Mortgage Bankers Association, its assistant vice president for economic and industrial forecasting, Joel Kan, said, “Demand for housing continues to be held back by insufficient supply. fastest pace of sales since January 2021.

“The inventory has decreased to 1.25 million homes for sale, reiterating the need for more units to sell from homeowners putting their homes up for sale and building new homes, to supplement and replenish the country’s aging housing stock. The median selling price recovered after three monthly declines and was 13% higher than a year ago. The housing market up to 2022 is still feeling the effects of a persistent imbalance between supply and demand. “

Sales of existing homes in the northeast fell 2.6 percent in October to an annual rate of 750,000 units, a loss of 13.8 percent year-on-year. The median price was $ 379,100, marking an appreciation of 6.4%.

The Midwest saw a 4.2 percent sales increase to 1.5 million units. This is a decrease of 6.3% compared to the previous October. The median price rose 7.8% to $ 259,800.

Sales of existing homes in the South rose 0.4% to 2.78 million, but were down 3.5% from the previous August. The median price in the South was $ 315,500, an appreciation of 16.1%.

Sales in the West were unchanged from the previous month at 1.310 million units. This was 5.1% lower than the sales of the previous year. The price of a median home rose 7.7 percent to $ 507,200.