The National Association of Realtors numbers for October were released last week. Overall we had a slight tick downward, nationally speaking. Interest rates ticked up but stayed below 4% for a 30 year fixed mortgage.
With mortgage rates remaining below 4 percent for the third straight month, existing-home sales in October were at a healthy pace but failed to keep up with September’s jump, according to the National Association of Realtors®. All four major regions saw no gains in sales in October.
Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, fell 3.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.36 million in October from 5.55 million in September. Despite last month’s decline, sales are still 3.9 percent above a year ago (5.16 million).
The average existing home sale price went up, this was surprising to me, here in the West Fort Bend/Harris County area we saw a decrease in that number, no doubt due to the oil prices which have had a significant effect on home sales in the Houston Area.
The median existing-home price for all housing types in October was $219,600, which is 5.8 percent above October 2014 ($207,500). October’s price increase marks the 44th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.
Total housing inventory3 at the end of October decreased 2.3 percent to 2.14 million existing homes available for sale, and is now 4.5 percent lower than a year ago (2.24 million). Unsold inventory is at a 4.8-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 4.7 months in September.
This is good news, first time home buyers are at 31%, this has been too low for too long.
The percent share of first-time buyers increased to 31 percent in October, up from 29 percent both in September and a year ago. NAR’s annual Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers – released earlier this month – revealed that the annual share of first-time buyers fell to its second-lowest level since the survey began in 1981.
All Cash sales were at 24% of all transactions, down 3% from this time last year.
All-cash sales were 24 percent of transactions in October (unchanged from September) and are down from 27 percent a year ago. Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 13 percent of homes in October, unchanged from September but down from 15 percent a year ago. Sixty-two percent of investors paid cash in October.
Regionally, the South took a 3.2% hit downward.
October existing-home sales in the Northeast were at an annual rate of 760,000, unchanged from September and 8.6 percent above a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $248,900, which is 1.3 percent above October 2014.
In the Midwest, existing-home sales declined 0.8 percent to an annual rate of 1.30 million in October, but are 8.3 percent above October 2014. The median price in the Midwest was $172,300, up 5.7 percent from a year ago.
Existing-home sales in the South decreased 3.2 percent to an annual rate of 2.14 million in October, but are still 0.5 percent above October 2014. The median price in the South was $188,800, up 6.2 percent from a year ago.
Existing-home sales in the West fell 8.7 percent to an annual rate of 1.16 million in October, but are still 2.7 percent above a year ago. The median price in the West was $319,000, which is 8.0 percent above October 2014
You can read the report from NAR here: