There was no real change in existing home sales in the US in August as increased sales in the Northeast and Midwest gained, erasing declines in the South and West.
The National Association of Realtors reported Thursday that sales nationally were at a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.34 million in August, down 1.5% from a year earlier.
“While inventory continues to show modest year over year gains, it is still far from a healthy level and new home construction is not keeping up to satisfy demand,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. “Homes continue to fly off the shelves with a majority of properties selling within a month, indicating that more inventory – especially moderately priced, entry-level homes – would propel sales.”
The median existing-home price for all housing types in August was U$264,800, up 4.6% from August 2017 ($253,100) and the 78th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.
First time buyers frozen out
First time buyers made up 31% of all buyers, the same as a year ago.
“Rising interests rates along with high home prices and lack of inventory continues to push entry-level and first time home buyers out of the market,” said Yun. “Realtors continue to report that the demand is there – that current renters want to become homeowners – but there simply are not enough properties available in their price range.”