Steel Markets

Existing Home Sales Slip in October

Written by Sandy Williams

Existing home sales fell 3.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.36 million in October, according to the National Association of Realtors. The decline followed a spurt in sales to a rate of 5.55 million in September. Home sales were up 3.9 percent on a year over year basis and are expected to finish the year at a strong annual rate.

“New and existing-home supply has struggled to improve so far this fall, leading to few choices for buyers and no easement of the ongoing affordability concerns still prevalent in some markets,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Furthermore, the mixed signals of slowing economic growth and volatility in the financial markets slightly tempered demand and contributed to the decreasing pace of sales.”

Yun added, “As long as solid job creation continues, a gradual easing of credit standards even with moderately higher mortgage rates should support steady demand and sales continuing to rise above a year ago.”

Existing home prices continued to rise for the 44th consecutive month. Median existing home price for all housing types was $219,600, a 5.8 percent increase year over year.

Inventory at the end of October dropped 2.3 percent to 2.14 million homes for sales. At the current sales pace, the inventory supply is 4.8 months.

Single family home sales fell 3.7 percent to a SAAR of 4.75 million with a median sales price of $221,200. Condo and co-op sales were down 1.6 percent at a median price of $207,100.

Sales in the Northeast were unchanged at an annual rate of 760,000, up 8.6 percent year over year. Median price was $248,900. Sales in the Midwest, South and West declined by 0.8 percent, 3.2 percent, and 9.7 percent, respectively. Median home price was highest in the West at $319,000.

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