Existing home sales fall 14.6% annually

by Emily Marek

Existing home sales fell 4.1% from September to October, according to the latest report from the National Association of REALTORS®. On a year-over-year basis, the decline was even steeper at 14.6%.

The only region of the U.S. that didn’t experience an annual decline in existing home sales was the Midwest, where sales were unchanged year over year.

via NAR

“Prospective home buyers experienced another difficult month due to the persistent lack of housing inventory and the highest mortgage rates in a generation,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a press release. “Multiple offers, however, are still occurring, even as price concessions are happening in the upper end of the market.”

Total housing inventory fell 5.7% year over year to 1.15 million units, although it increased slightly from September. Nationwide inventory increased to a 3.6-month supply during the month, up from 3.4 months in September and 3.3 months in October 2022.

Meanwhile, the median existing home price increased by 3.4% year over year to $391,800.

“While circumstances for buyers remain right, home sellers have done well as prices continue to rise year over year, including a new all-time high for the month of October,” Yun continued. “In fact, a typical homeowner has accumulated more than $100,000 in housing wealth over the past three years.”

Mortgage rates increased by nearly one percentage point year over year to 7.44%, according to Freddie Mac, but decreased by 0.06% month over month.

“Fortunately, mortgage rates have fallen for the third straight week, stirring up buying interest,” Yun said. “Though limited now, expect housing inventory to improve after this winter and heading into the spring. More inventory will result in more home sales.”

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