Thursday
August 21, 2014

While Existing-Home Sales Fall, Prices Rise

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While Existing-Home Sales Fall, Prices Rise

Existing-home prices are continuing to edge up across the country, but sales aren’t keeping pace. Here are five key indicators for the housing market from the National Association of REALTORS®' latest existing-homes report, which reflects September data:

  1. Home prices: The median price nationally for an existing home in September was $199,200, up 11.7 percent from a year ago. Home prices have had 10 consecutive months of double-digit year-over-year increases.
  2. Home sales: Sales of existing single-family homes dropped 1.5 percent in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.68 million. However, sales remain 10.9 percent above year-ago levels. Meanwhile, existing condo and co-op sales dropped 4.7 percent in September but are 8.9 percent above year-ago levels. 
  3. Distressed homes: Foreclosures and short sales accounted for 14 percent of September sales. That’s up from 12 percent in August. A year ago, distressed home sales made up 24 percent of the market. “Lower levels in the share of distressed sales account for some of the growth in median prices,” NAR notes. In September, foreclosures were sold at an average discount of 16 percent below market value; short sales were being discounted by an average of 12 percent.  
  4. Inventory: Housing inventory in September held steady, with a 5-month supply at the current sales pace. NAR’s report shows that 2.21 million existing homes were available for sale in September. For-sale inventory is 1.8 percent higher than a year ago. 
  5. Days on the market: The median time on the market for all homes was 50 days in September, up from 43 days in August but down from 70 days a year ago. Short sales were on the market for a median of 93 days in September; foreclosures were at 43 days. NAR notes that 39 percent of homes sold in less than a month in September. 

— By Melissa Dittmann Tracey

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