Existing Home Sales Down 1.5% in September
Washington, DC, October 20, 2022-Total existing-home sales retracted 1.5% from August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.71 million in September, according to the National Association of Realtors. Year-over-year, sales waned by 23.8% (down from 6.18 million in September 2021).
Three out of the four major U.S. regions notched month-over-month sales contractions, while the West held steady. On a year-over-year basis, sales dropped in all regions.
"The housing sector continues to undergo an adjustment due to the continuous rise in interest rates, which eclipsed 6% for 30-year fixed mortgages in September and are now approaching 7%," said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. "Expensive regions of the country are especially feeling the pinch and seeing larger declines in sales."
Total housing inventory registered at the end of September was 1.25 million units, which was down 2.3% from August and 0.8% from the previous year. Unsold inventory sits at a 3.2-month supply at the current sales pace-unchanged from August and up from 2.4 months in September 2021.
"Despite weaker sales, multiple offers are still occurring with more than a quarter of homes selling above list price due to limited inventory," Yun added. "The current lack of supply underscores the vast contrast with the previous major market downturn from 2008 to 2010, when inventory levels were four times higher than they are today."
The median existing-home price for all housing types in September was $384,800, an 8.4% jump from September 2021 ($355,100), as prices climbed in all regions. This marks 127 consecutive months of year-over-year increases, the longest-running streak on record. It was the third month in a row, however, that the median sales price faded after reaching a record high of $413,800 in June, the usual seasonal trend of prices trailing off after peaking in the early summer.
Properties typically remained on the market for 19 days in September, up from 16 days in August and 17 days in September 2021. Seventy percent of homes sold in September 2022 were on the market for less than a month.
First-time buyers were responsible for 29% of sales in September, unchanged from August 2022 and slightly higher than 28% from September 2021. NAR's 2021 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers found that the annual share of first-time buyers was 34%.
All-cash sales accounted for 22% of transactions in September, down from 24% in August and 23% in September 2021.
Individual investors or second-home buyers, who make up many cash sales, purchased 15% of homes in September, down from 16% in August, but up from 13% in September 2021.
Distressed sales-foreclosures and short sales-represented 2% of sales in September, a marginal increase from 1% in August 2022 and September 2021.