Existing-home sales fell for the sixth consecutive month in September, dipping to their lowest level since 2010, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Total existing-home sales, completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops, fell 2.0% from August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.96 million in September. Sales are down 15.4% compared to September 2022 levels.
“As has been the case throughout this year, limited inventory and low housing affordability continue to hamper home sales,” NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun says. “The Federal Reserve simply cannot keep raising interest rates in light of softening inflation and weakening job gains.”
Housing inventory increased 2.7% from August to 1.13 million units in September, but inventory levels are 8.1% lower than a year ago. Unsold inventory sits at a 3.4 month supply at the current sales pace, up on both a month-over-month and year-over-year basis.
Single-family home sales fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.53 million in September, down 1.9% from August, and 15.8% from the prior year. The median existing single-family home price increased 2.5% year-over-year to $399,200. The median existing-home price for all housing types increased 2.8% year-over-year to $394,300, reflecting the reality of limited resale inventory.
“For the third straight month, home prices are up from a year ago, confirming the pressing need for more housing supply,” says Yun.
Properties typically remained on the market for 21 days in September, up from 19 days in September 2022, according to the REALTORS Confidence Index.
First-time buyers accounted for 27% of sales in September, down from 29% in August and September 2022. According to the NAR’s Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the annual share of first-time buyers—26%—was the lowest since the association began tracking data.
All-cash sales account for 29% of transactions, an increase on both a month-over-month and year-over-year basis The share of individual investors or second-home buyers increased to 18% in September from 16% in August.
On a regional basis, existing-home sales increased in the Northeast compared to August, but fell in the Midwest, South, and West.