Existing home sales
fell 1.9% in Septemberto an annualized rate of 5.29 million.
Economists polled by Bloomberg were expecting a 3.3% drop.
August’s figures were revised down to 5.39 million from the original print of 5.48 million.
For months now, economists have been closely watching the impact of the run up in mortgage rates on existing and new home sales.
Total housing inventory remained unchanged at 2.21 million existing homes available for sale, according to the report.
“Affordability has fallen to a five-year low as home price increases easily outpaced income growth,” said National Association of Realtors chief economist Lawrence Yun. “Expected rising mortgage interest rates will further lower affordability in upcoming months. Next month we may see some delays associated with the government shutdown.”
“The median time on market for all homes was 50 days in September, up from 43 days in August, but much faster than the 70 days on market in September 2012,” according to the press release. “Short sales were on the market for a median of 93 days, while foreclosures typically sold in 43 days, and non-distressed homes took 49 days. 30-nine per cent of homes sold in September were on the market for less than a month.”