After August's rebound across the housing market - as mortgage rates tumbled - September was expected to see some slowdown but existing home sales fell significantly (dropping 2.2% MoM against expectations of a 0.7% drop).
Existing Home Sales SAAR fell from 5.50mm to 5.38mm in September...
Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said that despite historically low mortgage rates, sales have not commensurately increased, in part due to a low level of new housing options.
“We must continue to beat the drum for more inventory,” said Yun, who has called for additional home construction for over a year.
“Home prices are rising too rapidly because of the housing shortage, and this lack of inventory is preventing home sales growth potential.”
September existing-home sales in the Northeast fell 2.8% to an annual rate of 690,000, a 1.5% rise from a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $301,100, up 5.2% from September 2018.
In the Midwest, existing-home sales dropped 3.1% to an annual rate of 1.27 million, which is nearly equal to August 2018. The median price in the Midwest was $213,500, a 7.2% jump from a year ago.
Existing-home sales in the South decreased 2.1% to an annual rate of 2.28 million in September, up 6.0% from a year ago. The median price in the South was $237,300, up 6.3% from one year ago.
Existing-home sales in the West declined 0.9% to an annual rate of 1.14 million in September, 5.6% above a year ago. The median price in the West was $403,600, up 4.5% from September 2018.
More problematically, existing home sales slipped despite low mortgage rates...
As price once again becomes an issue.
The median existing-home price for all housing types in September was $272,100, up 5.9% from September 2018 ($256,900), as prices rose in all regions. September’s price increase marks 91 straight months of year-over-year gains.
Total housing inventory at the end of September sat at 1.83 million, approximately equal to the amount of existing-homes available for sale in August, but a 2.7% decrease from 1.88 million one year ago. Unsold inventory is at a 4.1-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 4.0 months in August and down from the 4.4-month figure recorded in September 2018.