After reporting U.S. existing home sales at their lowest level in a year in the previous month, the National Association of Realtors released a report on Friday showing an unexpected rebound in existing home sales in the month of September.
NAR said existing home sales climbed by 0.7 percent to an annual rate of 5.39 million in September from a rate of 5.35 million in August. Economists had expected existing home sales to see further downside and drop to a rate of 5.30 million.
Despite the unexpected monthly increase, existing home sales in September were down by 1.5 percent compared to the same month a year ago.
“Home sales in recent months remain at their lowest level of the year and are unable to break through, despite considerable buyer interest in most parts of the country,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.
He added, “Realtors this fall continue to say the primary impediments stifling sales growth are the same as they have been all year: not enough listings – especially at the lower end of the market – and fast-rising prices that are straining the budgets of prospective buyers.”
Yun noted sales activity likely would have been somewhat stronger if not for notable declines in parts of Texas and South Florida due to the impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
The report said existing home sales in the West surged up by 3.3 percent, and existing home sales in the Midwest jumped by 1.6 percent.
Sign up for our newsletter!
Existing home sales in the Northeast came in unchanged compared to the previous month, while existing home sales in the South fell by 0.9 percent.
The median existing home price in September was $245,100, up 4.2 percent from $235,200 in the same month a year ago.
Total housing inventory rose 1.6 percent to 1.90 million existing homes available for sale at the end of September but still remains 6.4 percent lower year-over-year.
NAR also said single-family home sales climbed by 1.1 percent to a rate of 4.79 million, while existing condominium and co-op sales fell by 1.6 percent to rate of 600,000.
Next Wednesday, the Commerce Department is scheduled to release a separate report on new home sales in the month of September.
Source: RTT News