August existing home sales fell 15.3% from last year

All 4 regions of the U.S. posted year-over-year declines according to data from the National Association of Realtors

WASHINGTON — August existing home sales fell 15.3% from the same period last year, continuing a decline that causes some concern about consumers’ ability to move into both newly constructed and other existing homes in the marketplace.

According to figures released by the National Association of Realtors on Sept. 21, sales of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops totaled 4.04 million in August, compared to 4.77 million in August 2022. Sales also fell .7% from July.

Single-family home sales totaled 3.6 million in August, down 15.3% from August 2022 and down 1.4% from July. Condominium and co-op sales totaled 440,000, down 15.4% from last year but up 4.8% from July.

Sales in all four regions of the country experienced a year-over-year decline, the NAR said, while sales compared to July rose in the Midwest, were unchanged in the Northeast and fell in the South and West.

This left the inventory of unsold homes at 1.1 million units, which was the equivalent of about 3.3 months of supply based at the current pace of sales, the NAR said.

It also reported that the median existing home price for each of the several major housing types was $407,100, up 3.9% from the August 2022 price of $391,700, with all four regions of the U.S. posting price hikes. The median sale price for single-family homes was $413,500, up 3.7% from last August. Condominium prices totaled $354,600, up 6.2% from last year.

“Home sales have been stable for several months, neither rising, nor falling in any meaningful way,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the NAR. “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.”

For example, he noted that the South had a slower decline in sales from last August because of greater job growth since coming out of the pandemic.

The NAR said that the August home price rate of $407,1000 was the third consecutive month that the median sales price was over $400,000.

Yun pointed out that home prices continue to rise despite lower home sales, adding, “Supply needs to essentially double to moderate home price gains.”

Other key takeaways from the report were as follows:

+ Properties remained on the market for about 20 days last month, which was up from 16 days in August 2022 but unchanged from July. Some 72% of homes sold last month were on the market for less than a month.

+ First-time buyers accounted for 29% of sales in August, which was unchanged from August 2022, but down from 30% in July.

+ All-cash sales accounted for 27% of the August transactions, up from 24% in August 2022 and up from 26% in July.

+ Individual investors or second-home buyers purchased 16% of homes in August, unchanged from August 2022 and July. These buyers make up for many cash sales.

+ Distressed sales including foreclosures and short sales were about 1% of the total home sales in August, also unchanged from last year and in July.

By region, activity was as follows:

In the Northeast, home sales totaled 480,000, down 22.6% from August 2022 but unchanged from July. The median price in this market rose 5.8% from August 2022, to $465,700.

In the Midwest, sales were down 16.4% from last August, to 970,000, but were up 1% from July. The median sales price rose 6.8% from August 2022 to $305,300.

In the South, sales fell 12.4% from August 2022 to 1.84 million and were also down 1.1% from July. The median price was $366,100, up 3.2% from August last year.

In the West, sales fell 15.7% from August 2022 to 750,000. They were also down 2.6% from July. The median price was up 3.2% from August 2022 to $609,300.

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 and at 336-508-4616.

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