September existing home sales fell 15.4% from last year

All four regions of the U.S. experienced year-over-year declines

WASHINGTON — Year-over-year and month-over-month existing home sales fell again in September as home prices continue to rise.

The drop in sales bucks traditional economic reasoning as many homeowners believe their properties are worth more than the market will bear particularly at a time when competition to sell remains high.

They also are facing a market in which current interest rates are making it difficult for many prospects to afford the monthly payments for a new home. 

According to the National Association of Realtors, existing home sales fell 2% in September to 3.96 million from 4.04 million in August. Sales fell 15.4% from 4.68 million in September 2022. The figures include the sale of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops. According to the NAR, monthly sales rose in the Northeast but fell in the Midwest, South and West, while all four regions experienced year-over-year declines.  

The total inventory of units for sale by the end of September was 1.13 million units, up 2.7% from August and down 8.1% from the 1.23 million recorded in September 2022. The total amount of unsold inventory was at a 3.4-month supply based on the current sales pace, compared to 3.3 months in August and 3.2 months in September 2022.

The median existing home price for all housing types in September was $394,300, up 2.8% from the $383,500 reported in September 2022. The NAR said that all four regions posted price increases.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the NAR, said limited inventories and low housing affordability continue to hamper home sales.

“The Federal Reserve simply cannot keep raising interest rates in light of softening inflation and weakening job gains,” Yun said. “For the third straight month, home prices are up from a year ago, confirming the pressing need for more housing supply.”

According to the  NAR report, single-family home sales fell to a seasonally adjusted rate of 3.53 million in September, down 1.9% from the 3.6 million in August and 15.8% from September 2022. The median existing home sale price was $399,200, up 2.5% from September 2022. Meanwhile existing condominium and co-op sales totaled 430,000 units in September, down 2.3% from August and 12.2% from September 2022. The median existing condo price was $353,800 in September, which is up 6.8% from September 2022.

By region the activity was as follows:   

+ Existing home sales in the Northeast totaled 500,000 in September, up 4.2% from August, but down 16.7%  from September 2022. The median sales price was $439,900, up 5.2% from September 2022.

+ In the Midwest, existing home sales totaled 930,000, down 4.1% from August and down 18.4% from September 2022. The median sales price in the region was $293,000, up 4.7% from September 2022.

+ In the South, existing home sales totaled 1.82 million in September, down 1.1% from August and down 11.7% from September 2022. The median sales price was $360,500, up 3.1% from September 2022.

+ In the West, there were 710,000 existing homes sold in September, down 5.3% from August and down 19.3% from September 2022. The median sales price was $606,100, up 1.8% from September 2022.

Other key takeaways from the report were as follows:

+ Properties typically remained on the market for 21 days in September, up from 20 days in August and 19 days in September 2022. Sixty-nine percent of homes sold in September were on the market for less than a month.

+ First-time buyers accounted for 27% of sales in September, down from 29% in August 2023 and September 2022.   

+ All-cash sales mostly from individual investors or second-home buyers accounted for 29% of September transactions, up from 27% in August and 22% in September 2022. Meanwhile, individual investors, or second-home buyers, purchased 18% of homes in September, up from 16% in August and 15% in September 2022.

+ Distressed sales, including foreclosures and short sales, represented about 1% of home sales in September, the same percentage as August and September of 2022.

+ The 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 7.57% on Oct. 12, up from 7.49% the prior week and 6.92% from the same period last year.   

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.

View all posts by Thomas Russell →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our Newsletter for breaking news, special features and early access to all the industry stories that matter!

Sponsored By: