Steel Markets

Existing-Home Sales, Prices Dip Again in October: NAR

Written by David Schollaert

Existing-home sales declined in October, retreating for the ninth straight month, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

All four major US regions saw sales decline both month-on-month (MoM) and year-on-year (YoY) in October.

October sales fell 5.9% from September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.43 million units. Total registered sales were down by 28.4% from 6.19 million a year ago.

“More potential homebuyers were squeezed out from qualifying for a mortgage in October as mortgage rates climbed higher,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “The impact is greater in expensive areas of the country and in markets that witnessed significant home price gains in recent years.”

The median existing-home price rose 6.6% from October 2021 to $379,100. All regions posted increased pricing last month, marking the 128th straight month of YoY gains and extending the longest-running streak on record.

October marked the third month in a row, however, that the median sales price retreated after reaching a record high of $413,800 in June.

“Inventory levels are still tight, which is why some homes for sale are still receiving multiple offers,” added Yun. “In October, 24% of homes received over the asking price. Conversely, homes sitting on the market for more than 120 days saw prices reduced by an average of 15.8%.”

Total housing inventory at the end of October slipped 0.8% from September and was down 0.8% from one year ago at 1.22 million units , the report said.

Inventory sits at a 3.3-month supply at the current sales pace. That’s up from September and up from 2.4 months from October 2021. Properties averaged 21 days on the market in October. That’s two days more than September’s total, and up from 18 days versus a year ago.

NAR reports that 64% of homes sold in October were on the market for less than a month. First-time buyers accounted for 28% of sales last month, down from 29% in September and from a year ago.

According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage was 6.90% in October, up from 6.11% in the month prior. The average commitment rate across all of 2021 was 2.96%.

Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast declined by 6.6% in October to an annual rate of 570,000, falling 23% YoY. The median price in the Northeast was $408,700, an 8% increase from one year ago.

In the Midwest, sales were down 5.3% MoM to an annual rate of 1.08 million in October. They were down 25.5% YoY. The median price in the Midwest was $274,500, up 5.9% from one year before.

In the South, sales retreated 4.8% MoM to an annual rate of 1.98 million and were down 27.2% YoY. The median price was $346,300, an 8% increase from one year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West were down 9.1% MoM at an annual rate of 800,000 in October. They were down 37.5% YoY. The median price in the West was $588,400, an increase of 5.3% YoY.

By David Schollaert,

David Schollaert

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