Existing home sales rose 9.4 percent in September over August levels, reports the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The rise in September sales marks the fourth consecutive month of existing home sales growth.
In total, 6.5 million existing homes were sold in September. That figure is more than 20 percent above September 2019 levels. The median existing home sale price was roughly $310,000, about 15 percent more than one year ago.
“Home sales traditionally taper off toward the end of the year, but in September they surged beyond what we normally see during this season,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “I would attribute this jump to record-low interest rates and an abundance of buyers in the marketplace, including buyers of vacation homes given the greater flexibility to work from home.”
Total housing inventory declined from August and from September 2019 levels to roughly 1.5 million existing homes, representing a record low. More than 70 percent of homes sold in September were on the market less than a month, NAR data reveals.
“There is no shortage of hopeful, potential buyers, but inventory is historically low,” Yun says. “To their credit, we have seen some homebuilders move to ramp up supply, but a need for even more production still exists.”
Regionally, home sales have grown in each region for four consecutive months as well. Median home prices in each of the four U.S. regions NAR tracks increased by double digits from September 2019 levels. Ecisting home sales in the northeast rose 16.2 percent, while existing home sales in the midwest grew 7.1 percent. In the south, existing home sales grew 8.5 percent and in the west, existing home sales rose 9.6 percent.