Sales of existing homes slid 0.7 percent between July and August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.04 million but held steady in the Northeast and rose in the Midwest.
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Sales of existing homes slid 0.7 percent between July and August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.04 million — 15.3 percent lower than the levels recorded a year ago according to data released Thursday.
“Home sales have been stable for several months, neither rising nor falling in any meaningful way,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said. “Mortgage rate changes will have a big impact over the short run, while job gains will have a steady, positive impact over the long run. The South had a lighter decline in sales from a year ago due to greater regional job growth since coming out of the pandemic lockdown.”
Total housing inventory registered at the end of August was 1.1 million units, an 0.9 percent decrease from July and down 14.1 percent from a year ago. Unsold housing inventory sat at a 3.3 month supply at the end of August, identical to July’s rate and up from 3.2 months in August 2022. Few homeowners remain willing to sell their home for reluctance of losing their lower mortgage rate, with rates now exceeding 7 percent as the Federal Reserve continues its campaign against inflation.
“Homeowners are keeping their homes off the market because they don’t want to give up the low mortgage rates they got when they bought or refinanced a few years ago,” NerdWallet home and mortgage expert Holden Lewis said in a statement.
Low inventory continued to drive up prices, with the median existing-home price in August hitting $407,100 — a 3.9 percent increase from the August 2022 price of $391,700. All four major regions of the United States posted price increases.
“Home prices continue to march higher despite lower home sales,” Yun said. “Supply needs to essentially double to moderate home price gains.”
Sales were unchanged month over month in the Northeast but were down 22.6 percent from August 2022. The Midwest saw sales increase 1 percent from the previous month but fall 16.4 percent from the previous year, while the South saw sales drop 1.1 percent from July and 12.4 percent from a year prior. The West, meanwhile, registered a 2.6 percent slump in sales between July and August and a 15.7 dropoff from 2022.