Existing-Home Sales Inched Down 0.7% in August
Washington, DC, September 21, 2023-Total existing-home slid 0.7% from July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.04 million in August, according to the National Association of Realtors. Year-over-year, sales fell 15.3% (down from 4.77 million in August 2022).
"Home sales have been stable for several months, neither rising nor falling in any meaningful way," said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. "Mortgage rate changes will have a big impact over the short run, while job gains will have a steady, positive impact over the long run. The South had a lighter decline in sales from a year ago due to greater regional job growth since coming out of the pandemic lockdown."
Total housing inventory registered at the end of August was 1.1 million units, down 0.9% from July and 14.1% from one year ago (1.28 million). Unsold inventory sits at a 3.3-month supply at the current sales pace, identical to July and up from 3.2 months in August 2022.
The median existing-home price for all housing types in August was $407,100, an increase of 3.9% from August 2022 ($391,700). All four U.S. regions posted price increases.
"Home prices continue to march higher despite lower home sales," Yun said. "Supply needs to essentially double to moderate home price gains."
According to the Realtors Confidence Index, properties typically remained on the market for 20 days in August, unchanged from July and up from 16 days in August 2022. Seventy-two percent of homes sold in August were on the market for less than a month.
First-time buyers were responsible for 29% of sales in August, down from 30% in July and identical to August 2022. NAR's 2022 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers found that the annual share of first-time buyers was 26%, the lowest since NAR began tracking the data.
All-cash sales accounted for 27% of transactions in August, up from 26% in July and 24% in August 2022.
Individual investors or second-home buyers, who make up many cash sales, purchased 16% of homes in August, the same share as in July and one year ago.
Distressed sales represented 1% of sales in August, unchanged from last month and the previous year.
According to Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 7.18% as of September 14. That's up from 7.12% the prior week and 6.02% one year ago.
Single-family home sales waned to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.60 million in August, down 1.4% from 3.65 million in July and 15.3% from the previous year. The median existing single-family home price was $413,500 in August, up 3.7% from August 2022.
Existing condominium and co-op sales recorded a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 440,000 units in August, up 4.8% from July but down 15.4% from one year ago. The median existing condo price was $354,600 in August, up 6.2% from the prior year ($333,900).
At an annual rate of 480,000 in August, existing-home sales in the Northeast were unchanged from July but down 22.6% from August 2022. The median price in the Northeast was $465,700, up 5.8% from one year ago.
In the Midwest, existing-home sales increased by 1.0% from the previous month to an annual rate of 970,000 in August, down 16.4% from the prior year. The median price in the Midwest was $305,300, up 6.8% from August 2022.
Existing-home sales in the South faded 1.1% from July to an annual rate of 1.84 million in August, a decrease of 12.4% from one year ago. The median price in the South was $366,100, up 3.2% from August 2022.
In the West, existing-home sales slumped 2.6% from the previous month to an annual rate of 750,000 in August, down 15.7% from the prior year. The median price in the West was $609,300, up 1.0% from August 2022.