September existing home sales fell after August sales were flat. Prices increased again, as they have for over 6 and a half years. The pace of sales was slower than it was in August, but still faster than a year ago. Sales slowed across all four major regions, and overall housing inventory is up from the previous September. Do these small changes in the September 2018 Housing Market Recap signal that the market finally changing direction?
September existing home sales fell 3.4 percent from August, and were 4.1 percent lower than September 2017, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) September Existing Home Sales Report, released October 19th.
Inventory fell from August to September, but increased year-over-year. At the current sales pace, the supply of unsold inventory was 4.4 months, up from 4.2 months a year ago.
Home prices continued to increase year-over-year. The median price of existing homes sold in September was $258,100, an increase of 4.2 percent from September 2017 ($247,600). We’ve now reached 79 consecutive months of year-over-year increases.
Days on the market (DOM) were up from August, moving from 29 to 32. A year ago, homes typically stayed on the market for 34 days, so the sales pace is slightly higher year-over-year.
According to NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun, “There is a clear shift in the market with another month of rising inventory on a year over year basis, though seasonal factors are leading to a third straight month of declining inventory,” said Yun. “Homes will take a bit longer to sell compared to the super-heated fast pace seen earlier this year.”
Regional trends show little variation. Sales were flat or down, and prices were up across all regions. The Midwest saw no drop in sales from August, followed by the Northeast (2.9 percent), West (3.6 percent) and South (5.4 percent). Prices rose year-over-year in every region, with the Northeast and West tied at 4.1 percent. Prices in the South rose 3 percent, and in the Midwest by 1.9 percent. Midland, TX remained at the top of the hottest metro areas list (measured by days on the market/listing views per property). The rest of the Top 10 are Fort Wayne, IN, Odessa, TX, Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH, Columbus, OH, Colorado Springs, CO, San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA, Janesville-Beloit, WI, Boise City, ID, and Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN.
What does this mean if you’re buying or selling? Buyers may have more choices, depending on the local market. Seller may find it takes a little longer to sell, but the market is still in their favor. While this report shows national and regional trends, things may be different in your area. Real estate is local and personal. Work with an experienced Realtor® who knows your market, and get your financing lined up first by talking to a First Choice Loan Services Inc. Mortgage Loan Originator.