Steel Markets

Existing Home Sales Flat in August

Written by Sandy Williams

Existing-home sales were flat in August, halting a four-month decline, said the National Association of Realtors. Sales of single-family homes, townhomes, condos and co-ops were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.34 million last month, down 1.5 percent from a year ago.

“Strong gains in the Northeast and a moderate uptick in the Midwest helped to balance out any losses in the South and West, halting months of downward momentum,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “With inventory stabilizing and modestly rising, buyers appear ready to step back into the market.”

Housing inventory at the end of August was unchanged from July at 1.92 million existing homes for sale, a 4.3-month supply at the current sales price.

“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 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 seasonally adjusted annual rates for sale of single-family homes and condos remained flat compared to July at 4.75 million and 590,000, respectively.

The median existing-home price was $264,800, up 4.6 percent from August 2017. The median sales price for a single-family home increased 4.9 percent from a year ago to $267,300, while condo prices increased 2 percent $244,500.

Regionally, sales jumped 7.6 percent in the Northeast and 2.4 percent in the Midwest. Sales dropped 5.9 percent in the West and 0.4 percent in the South.

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