Existing Sales Steady


Existing-home sales were unchanged in August, and are 1.5% below the level a year ago. The first-time buyer share of 31% was down from 32% last month and unchanged from a year ago. The National Association of Realtors reported that 52% of homes sold in August were on the market less than a month. The August inventory was also unchanged, and at a level of 1.92 million units is up slightly from 1.87 million available homes last year. At the current sales rate, the August unsold inventory represents a 4.3-month supply, unchanged from last month and up from a 4.1-month supply a year ago. August existing sales remained at a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.34 million units. Total existing home sales include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops.

Existing sales increased 7.6% in the Northeast and 2.4% in the Midwest, but fell 0.4% in the South and 5.9% in the West. Year-over-year, sales increased 1.8% in the South, but fell 0.8% in the Midwest, 2.7% in the Northeast and 7.4% in the West.

Homes stayed on the market for 29 days in August, up from 27 days in July, but down from 30 days a year ago.

The August all-cash sales share was 20%, unchanged from last month and a year ago. Individual investors purchased a 13% share in August, unchanged from last month and down from 15% a year ago.

The August median sales price of $264,800 was up 4.6% from a year ago, representing the 78th consecutive month of year-over-year increases. The August median condominium/co-op price of $244,500 was up 2.0% from a year ago.

Despite the slight increase in inventory, the range of choice for prospective buyers remains tight, especially for entry level priced homes. Builder confidence remained firm last month, as builders work to meet the demand of future home buyers.

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