Existing home sales fell 3.2% month-over-month in October to an annualized pace of 5.12 million units.
This was worse than expectations for a 2.9% month-over-month to an annualized pace of 5.14 million units.
This was the second straight monthly decline.
September’s number was left unchanged to show a 1.9% mum fall to 5.29 million units the previous month.
“The erosion in buying power is dampening home sales,” Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist said in a press release. “Moreover, low inventory is holding back sales while at the same time pushing up home prices in most of the country. More new home construction is needed to help relieve the inventory pressure and moderate price gains.”
The national median existing-home price was up 12.8% on the year to $US199,500. Meanwhile, the median time for homes on the market was 54 days, up from 50 days the previous month.
Housing inventory fell 1.8% to 2.13 million units for sale at the end of the month. This represented a 5 month supply at current sales pace.
The share of distressed sales in existing home sales was unchanged at 14% in October. This is up from 12% in August, but is well down from 27% in 2012, which is an encouraging sign for the market.
Here’s a look at the regional breakdown:
- In the northeast, existing home sales fell 2.9% to an annual rate of 670,000, but were up 11.7% year-over-year.
- In the Midwest, they fell 1.6% to 1.22 million units, but were up 8% from a year ago.
- In the South, they were down 1.9% to 2.06 million units, but up 7.3% on the year.
- In the West, existing home sales were down 7.1% to 1.17 million units, down 0.8% on the year.
Pending home sales, considered a leading indicator for future existing home sales, have been falling sharply. This suggests that existing home sales will be ticking lower.
Existing home sales account for a larger share of the market than new homes.