NAR: Existing-Home Sales Stall in August
Article by Daily Real Estate News | September 22, 2015
After several consecutive months of increases, existing-home sales dropped in August while home prices also showed signs of moderating, according to the National Association of REALTORS® latest home sales report. All four regions across the country saw a dip in sales last month.
“Sales activity was down in many parts of the country last month – especially in the South and West – as the persistent summer theme of tight inventory levels likely deterred some buyers,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “The good news for the housing market is that price appreciation in the last two months has started to moderate from the unhealthier rate of growth seen earlier this year.”
Here’s an overview of market’s performance in August:
Home prices: The median existing-home price for all housing types was $228,700 – 4.7 percent higher than a year ago. August marks the 42nd consecutive month of year-over-year gains.
Total home sales: Existing-home sales – completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops – dropped 4.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.31 million. Sales still remain 6.2 percent above a year ago.
Housing inventories: Total housing inventory at the end of August increased 1.3 percent to 2.29 million existing homes available for sale. That still marks 1.7 percent lower than a year ago. At the current pace, unsold inventory is at a 5.2-month supply, up from 4.9 months in July. “With sales and overall demand higher than a year ago and supply mostly unchanged, low inventories will likely continue to limit options for those looking to buy this fall even with the overall pool of buyers shrinking because of seasonal factors,” says Yun.
First-time buyers: The percent share of first-time buyers rebounded to 32 percent in August, an increase from 28 percent in July. That also matches May’s highest share of first-time home buyers of the year. A year ago, first-time buyers comprised 29 percent of all buyers.
Days on the market: Properties, on average, stayed on the market for 47 days in August, up from 42 days in July but below the 53 days a year ago. Short sales were on the market the longest at a median of 124 days in August, while foreclosures sold in 66 days. Non-distressed homes took 45 days to days. Forty percent of homes sold in August were on the market for less than a month.
All-cash sales: The percentage of all-cash transactions dropped to 22 percent in August, down from 23 percent a year ago. Individual investors — who make up the bulk of cash sales — purchased 12 percent of homes in August, unchanged from a year ago. Sixty percent of investors paid cash in August.
Distressed sales: The percentage of distressed sales last month matched the lowest share since NAR began tracking such data in October 2008. Foreclosures and short sales remained at 7 percent in August, down from 8 percent a year ago. Broken out, five percent of sales last month were foreclosures while 2 percent were short sales. On average, foreclosures sold for a discount of 18 percent below market value in August, while short sales were discounted 12 percent.
Source: National Association of REALTORS®; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 092215
Kenneth Bargers, REALTOR® | Pilkerton Realtors
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