Existing-home sales fell for the ninth month in a row in October as house prices rose for the 128th consecutive month, the longest streak of gains on record, the National Association of REALTORS® said.
Month over month, existing-home sales, which include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, slid 5.9% to an annual rate of 4.43 million, which is 28.4% lower than the year before.
“More potential homebuyers were squeezed out from qualifying for a mortgage in October as mortgage rates climbed higher,” NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said in a press release. “The impact is greater in expensive areas of the country and in markets that witnessed significant home-price gains in recent years.”
The median existing-home price for all housing types in October was $379,100, representing a 6.6% rise from the year before.
Total housing inventory at the end of October was 1,220,000 units, a 0.8% decrease on a month-over-month and year-over-year basis. At the current sales pace, unsold inventory represents a 3.3-month supply, up from 3.1 months in September and 2.4 months in October 2021.
“Deteriorating housing affordability and ongoing economic volatility continued to sideline buyers and push down sales activity in October as we enter the typically slower winter months and holiday season,” Compass president of national brokerage operations Neda Navab said. “There are a few factors that could improve affordability and bring buyers back: Robust wage increases for buyers; a broad decline in home prices; meaningfully lower mortgage interest rates; and/or a jump in inventory, especially of more-affordable homes.”
Properties typically remained on the market for 21 days in October, up from 19 days in September and 18 in October 2021. Sixty-four percent of homes sold in October were on the market for less than a month.
By property type, single-family home sales in October slid to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.95 million, down 6.4% from 4.22 million in September and down 28.2% from a year earlier. The median existing single-family home price was $384,900, up 6.2% on a year-over-year basis.
Existing condominium and co-op sales came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 480,000 units in October, down 2% from September and 30.4% compared to October 2021. The median existing condo price rose 10.1% year over year to $331,000.