Existing home sales fall 5.9% in October from September

Sales decreased 28.4% from October 2021, with month-over month and year-over-year declines across all regions of the U.S.

WASHINGTON — Existing home sales in October fell 5.9% from September to 4.43 million units,  the ninth consecutive monthly decrease recorded by the National Association of Realtors.

Year over year, sales fell 28.4% from October 2021, the NAR said, down from 6.19 million units in October 2021.  All four major regions of the country experienced both month-over-month and year-over-year declines.

Single-family home sales declined 6.4% to 3.95 million in October compared to 4.22 million in September and fell 28.2% from a year ago. Condominium and co-op sales fell 2% to 480,000 units in September and 30.4% from the previous year.

Median existing home prices rose to $379,000, up 6.6% from last October — including $384,900 for single-family homes and $331,000 for existing condos.

Meanwhile, the inventory of existing homes fell for the third consecutive month to 1.22 million units, or the equivalent of 3.3 months of supply based on the current pace of sales.

The total housing inventory was down .8% from both September and last October (or 1.23 million units), the NAR said, adding that the current inventory level was up from 3.1 months in September and 2.4 months in October 2021.

NAR Chief Economic Lawrence Yun attributed the level of existing home sales to the increase in interest rates.

“More potential home buyers were squeezed out from qualifying for a mortgage in October as mortgage rates climbed higher,” Yun said in a release. “The impact is greater in expensive areas of the country and in markets that witnessed significant home price gains in recent years.”

He described the inventory levels as still tight, “which is why some homes for sale are still receiving multiple offers.” He said that in October, 24% of homes received over the asking price, while homes sitting on the market for more than 120 days saw prices reduced by an average of nearly 16%.

The NAR report said that homes typically remained on the market for 21 days in October, compared to 19 days in September and 18 days in October 2021. Sixty-four percent of the homes sold in October were on the market for less than a month and first-time buyers were responsible for 28% of sales in October, down from 29% in September and October 2021.

The report also noted that the annual share of first-time buyers was 26%, the lowest level since it began tracking the data in 1968.

By region, the results for October were as follows:

+ In the Northeast, existing home sales fell 6.6% from September and 23% from last October to an annual rate of 570,000. The median sale price was $408,700, up 8% from October 2021.

+ In the Midwest, sales fell 5.3% from September and 25.5% from October 2021 to 1.08 million. The median sales price was $274,500, up 5.9% from October 2021.

+ In the South, sales fell 4.8% from September and 27.2% from October 2021 to 1.98 million units. The median sales price rose 8%, to $346,300 from last October.

+ In the West, sales fell 9.1% from September and 37.5% from October 2021 to 800,000. The median price rose 5.3% to $588,400.

Thomas Russell

Home News Now Editor-in-Chief Thomas Russell has covered the furniture industry for 25 years at various daily and weekly consumer and trade publications. He can be reached at tom@homenewsnow.com and at 336-508-4616.

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