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Existing Home Sales Inched Up 0.7% in September

21 October 2017

The number of homes available for sale climbed 1.9% in September, but total housing inventory was still down 6.4% compared to a year ago at 1.9 million.

Last month sales rose 0.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million houses, a surprise since analysts expected a drop to 5.29 million. NAR noted that "Ongoing supply shortages and recent hurricanes muted overall activity". Both of those states are located in the South, which was the only region in the USA to experience a decline in September compared with August. Florida's sales were still down 22% compared to this time past year.

"A continuation of last month's alleviating price growth, which was the slowest since last December, 4.5 percent, would improve affordability conditions and be good news for the would-be buyers who have been held back by higher prices this year", said Yun. That exceeded the MarketWatch forecast of 5.3 million.

Sales of existing U.S. homes rose in September compared with August, but remained relatively tepid due to limited housing supply and high prices, the National Association of Realtors said Friday.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says closings mustered a meager gain in September, but declined on an annual basis for the first time in over a year (July 2016; 2.2%).

The report notes that the median existing-home price for all housing types in September was $245,100-representing a 4.2 percent increase from previous year at $235,200.

Housing inventory across the US now stands at a 4.2-month supply, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). That sales pace was 4.5 months a year ago, reflecting the tightening housing market.

Median price: $195,800, a 5.4 percent year-over-year increase.

Median price: $215,100, a 4.6 percent year-over-year increase.

Geographically, a lot of the improvement in sales came from the west (3.3%) and Midwest (.16%), while in the South and Northeast sales were flat. August's sales pace was reportedly unrevised.

Existing Home Sales Inched Up 0.7% in September