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Existing-home sales in September stumbled, but improved over the previous year, according to the latest National Association of REALTORS® report. Last month’s sales totaled 5.38 million, down 2.2 percent month-over-month, but up 3.9 percent year-over-year.

Credit: National Association of REALTORS®

The amount of existing for-sale homes in September totaled 1.83 million—barely a budge from the month prior, and a 2.7 percent decline from the previous year.

“We must continue to beat the drum for more inventory,” Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR, says. “Home prices are rising too rapidly because of the housing shortage, and this lack of inventory is preventing home sales growth potential.”

Currently, inventory is at a 4.1-month supply. In September, the average listing was on the market for 32 days. Forty-nine percent of homes were on the market for less than one month.

Across all house types (single-family, condo, co-op and townhome), the median price in September was $272,100, a 5.9 percent increase year-over-year. The median price in the single-family space was $275,100, while the condo median was $248,600.

By region:

Midwest
Existing-Home Sales: 1.27 million (Unchanged YoY)
Median Price: $213,500 (+7.2% YoY)

Northeast
Existing-Home Sales: 690,000 (+1.5% YoY)
Median Price: $301,100 (+5.2% YoY)

South
Existing-Home Sales: 2.28 million (+6% YoY)
Median Price: $237,700 (+6.3% YoY)

West
Existing-Home Sales: 1.14 million (+5.6% YoY)
Median Price: $403,600 (+4.5% YoY)

Of sales in September, 4.78 million were single-family transactions—a 3.9 percent bump from the prior year. Condo and co-op sales totaled 600,000, also an increase, 3.7 percent, year-over-year. Seventeen percent of sales were all-cash, and 14 percent were bought by individual investors or second homebuyers. Two percent were distressed. First-time homebuyers comprised 33 percent of sales.

According to realtor.com®’s Market Hotness Index, included in NAR’s report, the hottest metros in September were: Fort Wayne, Ind.; Rochester, N.Y.; Pueblo, Colo.; Columbus, Ohio; and Topeka, Kan.

“For families on the sidelines thinking about buying a home, current rates are making the climate extremely favorable in markets across the country,” says NAR President John Smaby. “These traditionally low rates make it that much easier to qualify for a mortgage, and they also open up various housing selections to buyers everywhere.”

For more information, please visit www.nar.realtor.

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