Existing-home sales were down in September on the heels of a strong gain in August, but remain well above a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors®.I have long believed that the best way to get the housing market thriving again is to drop prices to the point where supply equals demand. Home sellers might not like it, but it's good for buyers and it's great for Realtors. For Realtors, the best way to make more money is to sell houses quickly. The best way to sell houses quickly is to convince the seller to drop the price.
Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, declined 3.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.91 million in September from an upwardly revised 5.06 million in August, but are 11.3 percent above the 4.41 million unit pace in September 2010. ...
All-cash sales accounted for 30 percent of purchase activity in September, up from 29 percent in August and 29 percent also in September 2010; investors make up the bulk of cash purchases.
Investors purchased 19 percent of homes in September, down from 22 percent in August; they were 18 percent in September 2010. First-time buyers accounted for 32 percent of transactions in September, unchanged from August; they were also 32 percent in September 2010.
The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $165,400 in September, down 3.5 percent from September 2010. Distressed homes – foreclosures and short sales typically sold at deep discounts – accounted for 30 percent of sales in September (18 percent were foreclosures and 12 percent were short sales), down from 31 percent in August and 35 percent in September 2010.
Total housing inventory at the end of September declined 2.0 percent to 3.48 million existing homes available for sale, which represents an 8.5-month supply at the current sales pace, compared with an 8.4-month supply in August.
Single-family home sales fell 3.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.33 million in September from 4.49 million in August, but are 12.2 percent above the 3.86 million-unit level in September 2010. The median existing single-family home price was $165,600 in September, down 3.9 percent from a year ago.
Existing condominium and co-op sales rose 1.8 percent a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 580,000 in September from 570,000 in August, and are 5.6 percent above the 549,000-unit pace one year ago. The median existing condo price was $163,800 in September, which is 1.0 percent below September 2010.
Friday, October 21, 2011
Existing home sales up 11.3% year-over-year; prices down 3.5%
Existing home sales for September were down slightly month-over-month, but up big year-over-year. One reason for the big year-over-year rise in existing home sales may be that prices are lower than they were a year ago. As I often say, "drop prices, sell houses."