Home sales in the United States rebounded in September.
Sales of existing homes rose 7% to 6.29 million seasonally adjusted units in September from the previous month, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The results exceeded analysts’ expectations of a 3.6% increase, according to Bloomberg consensus estimates.
âThis fall appears to be the second best fall home sales season in 15 years,â Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR, said at a press conference releasing the new data.
Yun noted that the sharp increase in activity last year, due to COVID-19 migration and pent-up demand, was the best fall season for sales.
Yun also attributed the increase in activity to mortgage rates – which after rising above 3% in mid-year fell back to 2.8% in August – and positive employment reports which strengthened. confidence in the market.
âHousing demand remains strong as buyers are likely to want a home before mortgage rates rise even further next year,â he said.
The increase in existing home sales was expected as pending home sales in August, which led to actual sales, were up 8.1%, according to the NAR.
“Existing home sales in September far exceeded expectations and posted their fastest annualized pace since last fall, recovering the ground lost in August and illustrating that even slight tilts in market conditions in favor of buyers can pay real dividends by increasing selling activity, âsaid Kwame Donaldson, Zillow’s senior economist, in a statement after the results. âSales remain well below the peak of last October, when homebuyers rushed into the housing market after the brief COVID-19 recession in a surge in demand that had been sidetracked during pandemic lockdowns. “
The median price of existing homes for all housing types in September reached $ 352,800, up 13.3% from a year ago, but down slightly from the previous month and the third month in a row drop. Yun noted that the trend is typical of the season, but also pointed out that home price growth is moderating from its increases of more than 20%.
Despite the downward trend, first-time home buyers accounted for 28% of all sales last month, the lowest point since July 2015. or equity “to offset such a purchase.”
Economists at Goldman Sachs recently forecast a 16% increase in home prices by the end of 2022, citing the shortage of inventory as the main driver of the price hike.
The total building stock at the end of September stood at 1.27 million units, down 0.8% from August and 13.0% from a year ago (1.46 million) . The unsold inventory stands at a 2.4 month supply at the current pace of sales, down 7.7% from August and down from 2.7 months in September 2020.
âSupply issues have held back real estate activity from cycle highs during 2021, even against a backdrop of robust demand,â Credit Suisse said in a research note ahead of the results. “Supply issues may continue to dampen real estate activity in the near term, but there are early signs that these supply issues may soon normalize. For example, the number of ‘approved but not started’ units appears have peaked and could decline within months, providing a tailwind to housing starts in the medium term. â
Amanda Fung is a writer at Yahoo Finance.
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