September Existing Home Sales Slipped
By TJ Kim – Bondsquawk
October 19, 2012
Existing Home Sales edged down in September, but median home prices rose for seven consecutive months.
According the National Association of Realtors, housing markets in general seem to have picked up a steady rebound, disregarding monthly irregularities of ups and downs.
“Lawrence Yun , NAR chief economist, said the market trend is up. ”Despite occasional month-to-month setbacks, we’re experiencing a genuine recovery,” he said. “More people are attempting to buy homes than are able to qualify for mortgages, and recent price increases are not deterring buyer interest. Rather, inventory shortages are limiting sales, notably in parts of the West.””
Both prices and inventory level of houses were in line with the year’s up-sloping growth trend for housing market.
“The national median existing-home price2 for all housing types was $183,900 in September, up 11.3 percent from a year ago. The last time there were seven consecutive monthly year-over-year increases was from November 2005 to May 2006… Total housing inventory at the end September fell 3.3 percent to 2.32 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 5.9-month supply 4 at the current sales pace, down from a 6.0-month supply in August. Listed inventory is 20.0 percent below a year ago when there was an 8.1-month supply. “The shrinkage in housing supply is supporting ongoing price growth, a pattern that could accelerate unless home builders robustly ramp up production,” Yun said.”
Looking at home sales by region, sales fell across the Northeast, Midwest, and West moderately but maintained the median price above the year-ago’s median price.
“Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast fell 6.3 percent to an annual level of 590,000 in September but are 7.3 percent above September 2011. The median price in the Northeast was $238,700, up 4.1 percent from a year ago. Existing-home sales in the Midwest slipped 0.9 percent in September to a pace of 1.10 million but are 19.6 percent higher than a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $145,200, up 7.0 percent from September 2011. Existing-home sales in the West fell 3.4 percent to an annual pace of 1.13 million in September but are 0.9 percent above a year ago. With continuing inventory shortages in the region, the median price in the West was $246,300, which is 18.4 percent higher than September 2011.”
Although today’s existing home sales fell, the decline was at a moderate level. Moreover, inventory and prices still signal active transactions occurring in existing home sales.
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