Existing-Home Sales Inched Down 0.4% in August, 7th Straight Month of Decline
Washington, DC, September 21, 2022-Total existing-home sales notched a minor contraction of 0.4% from July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.80 million in August, according to the National Association of Realtors. Year-over-year, sales faded by 19.9% (5.99 million in August 2021).
"The housing sector is the most sensitive to and experiences the most immediate impacts from the Federal Reserve's interest rate policy changes," said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. "The softness in home sales reflects this year's escalating mortgage rates. Nonetheless, homeowners are doing well with near nonexistent distressed property sales and home prices still higher than a year ago."
Total housing inventory registered at the end of August was 1,280,000 units, a decrease of 1.5% from July and unchanged from the previous year. Unsold inventory sits at a 3.2-month supply at the current sales pace-identical to July and up from 2.6 months in August 2021.
"Inventory will remain tight in the coming months and even for the next couple of years," Yun added. "Some homeowners are unwilling to trade up or trade down after locking in historically-low mortgage rates in recent years, increasing the need for more new-home construction to boost supply."
The median existing-home price for all housing types in August was $389,500, a 7.7% jump from August 2021 ($361,500), as prices ascended in all regions. This marks 126 consecutive months of year-over-year increases, the longest-running streak on record. However, it was the second month in a row that the median sales price retracted after reaching a record high of $413,800 in June, the usual seasonal trend of prices declining after peaking in the early summer.
Properties typically remained on the market for 16 days in August, up from 14 days in July and down from 17 days in August 2021. Eighty-one percent of homes sold in August 2022 were on the market for less than a month.
First-time buyers were responsible for 29% of sales in August, consistent with July 2022 and August 2021.