October existing home sales fall 14.6% from last year

All 4 regions of the US experienced a year-over-year decline from October 2022

WASHINGTON — October existing home sales fell 14.6% from the same period a year ago and also fell 4.1% from September, continuing a drop in activity that potentially impacts furniture sales.

According to the National Association of Realtors, total existing home sales were 3.79 million in October, compared to 4.44 million in October 2022, a 14.6% decrease and a 4.1% decrease from the estimated 3.95 million sold in September. The year-over-year decline dropped from the 15.4% year-over-year decline in September while the month-to-month results did worse than the estimated 2% decline from September compared to August.

All four regions of the U.S. experienced year-over-year sales declines, while monthly sales compared to September dropped in the Northeast, South and West, but were unchanged in the Midwest, the report noted.

“Prospective home buyers experienced another difficult month due to the persistent lack of housing inventory and the highest mortgage rates in a generation,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. “Multiple offers, however, are still occurring, especially on starter and mid-priced homes, even as price concessions are happening in the upper end of the market.”

The NAR report said that the inventory of unsold homes also grew 1.8% from September to 1.15 million by the end of October, or a 3.6-month supply at the current monthly rate of sales, which is up from 3.4 months in September and 3.3 months in October 2022. The inventory was down 5.7% from a year ago, when there were 1.22 million homes on the market.

Meanwhile, the median existing home price rose to $391,800, a 3.4% increase from the $378,800 reported in October 2022. All four regions of the U.S. experienced price increases, the report noted.

“While circumstances for buyers remain tight, home sellers have done well as prices continue to rise year over year, including a new all-time high for the month of October,” Yun said. “In fact, a typical homeowner has accumulated more than $100,000 in housing wealth over the past three years.”

The report covers single-family, condo and co-op sales, with single-family home sales experiencing some of the largest drop in activity. For example, single-family home sales fell to 3.38 million in October, which was down 16.6% from October 2022 and down 4.2% from September. The median single-family home price was $396,100, up 3% from October 2022.

Existing condominium and co-op sales totaled 410,000 units, which also was down 14.6% from October 2022 but only down 2.4% from September. The median existing condo price rose 7.6% from October 2022, to $356,000.

By region the activity was as follows:

+ In the Northeast, existing home sales fell 15.8% from October and 4% from September, to 480,000. The median home price in the region was $439,200, up 7.5% from October 2022.

+ In the Midwest, existing home sales totaled 930,000 in October, 13.9% down from October 2022 and unchanged from September. The median price rose 4.2% from October 2022, to $285,100.

+ In the South, home sales totaled 1.69 million in October, down 14.6% from October 2022 and down 7.1% from September. The median price in the region was $357,700, up 3.5% from October 2022.

+ In the West, home sales declined 14.8% from October 2022 and were down 1.4% from September, to 690,000. The median price in the region was $602,200, up 2.3% from October 2022.

Other highlights of the report were as follows:

Properties typically remained on the market for 23 days in October, up from 21 days in September 2023 and October 2022. Some 63% of homes sold in October were on the market for less than 30 days.

+ First-time buyers represented 28% of sales in October, up from 27% in September and unchanged from October 2022. The annual share of first-time buyers was 32%, according to the NAR’s 2023 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.

+ All-cash sales accounted for 29% of transactions in October, which was unchanged from September and up from 26% in October 2022.

+ Individual investors or second-home buyers that account for many cash sales purchased 15% of homes in October, down from 18% in September and 16% in October 2022.

+ Foreclosures and short sales represented 2% of sales in October, unchanged from September and October 2022.

+ The 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 7.44% as of Nov. 16, which is down from 7.50% the previous week but up from 6.61% 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 tom@homenewsnow.com 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: