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Existing-Home Sales Drop in September

After hitting the highest level in nearly four years, existing-home sales declined in September, but limited inventory conditions continued to pressure home prices in much of the country, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

Total existing-home sales declined 1.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.29 million in September from a downwardly revised 5.39 million in August, but are 10.7 percent above the 4.78 million-unit pace in September 2012. Sales have remained above year-ago levels for the past 27 months.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said a decline was expected.

“Affordability has fallen to a five-year low as home price increases easily outpaced income growth,” he said. “Expected rising mortgage interest rates will further lower affordability in upcoming months. Next month we may see some delays associated with the government shutdown.”

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $199,200 in September, up 11.7 percent from September 2012. This is the 10th consecutive month of double-digit year-over-year increases.

Total housing inventory at the end of September was unchanged at 2.21 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a five-month supply at the current sales pace, compared with a 4.9-month supply in August. Unsold inventory is 1.8 percent above a year ago, when there was a 5.4-month supply.

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About Amanda Bell

Amanda Bell
Amanda Bell was an assistant editor of Hardware Retailing and NRHA. Amanda regularly visited with home improvement retailers across the country and attended industry events and seminars. She earned a degree in magazine journalism from Ball State University and has received honors for her work for Hardware Retailing from the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals.

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