Total existing-home sales, which includes the sales of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops, decreased 1.5% from August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.71 million in September, the eighth consecutive month of declines, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). On a year-over-year basis, existing-home sales fell 23.8% from an annual rate of 6.18 million in September 2021.

“The housing sector continues to undergo an adjustment due to the continuous rise in interest rates, which eclipsed 6% for 30-year fixed mortgages in September and are now approaching 7%,” says NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. “Expensive regions of the country are especially feeling the pinch and seeing larger declines in sales.”

According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage was 6.11% in September, up from 5.22% in August. The average commitment rate across all of 2021 was 2.96%.

Total housing inventory at the end of September was 1.25 million units, down 2.3% from August and down 0.8% from September 2021. Unsold inventory sits at a 3.2-month supply at the current sales pace, level with August and up 0.8 months from 12 months ago.

“Despite weaker sales, multiple offers are still occurring with more than a quarter of homes selling above list price due to limited inventory,” Yun says. “The current lack of supply underscores the vast contrast with the previous major market downturn from 2008 to 2010, when inventory levels were four times higher than they are today.”

The median existing-home price for all housing types in September was $384,000, an 8.4% increase on a year-over-year basis, marking the 127th consecutive month of annual increases. September, however, marked the third consecutive month that the median sales price declined on a month-over-month basis after peaking at $413,800 in June. Single-family home sales declined to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.22 million in September, down 0.9% month over month and 23% year over year. The median existing single-family home price increased 8.1% year over year to $391,000.

According to the NAR, properties remained on the market for 19 days in September, up from 17 days in September 2021. Approximately 70% of homes sold in September were on the market for less than a month, and first-time buyers accounted for 29% of sales in September.

Individual investors or second-home buyers, who make up many cash sales, purchased 15% of homes in September, down 1% on a month-over-month basis but 2 percentage points higher than September 2021.

Existing-home sales in the Northeast declined 1.6% on a month-over-month basis in September and 18.7% year over year. The median price in the region increased 8.3% compared with September 2021. In the Midwest, existing-home sales fell 1.7% compared with August and 19.7% compared with September 2021. The median price in the Midwest increased 6.9% on a year-over-year basis.

Existing-home sales in the South fell 1.9% in September from August and 23.8% from September 2021. The median price in the region increased 11.8% compared with September 2021. Sales in the West were level on a month-over-month basis but declined 31.3% compared with September 2021. The median price in the West increased 7.1% compared with the prior year.

According to the NAR, Miami (+28.3%), Memphis (+27.3%), and Milwaukee (+27.0%) experienced the largest year-over-year median price growth, while Phoenix (+32.3%), Austin (+27.4%), and Las Vegas (+20.0%) reported the highest increase in the share of homes that had their prices reduced compared to September 2021.