Homes Sales Surge in September, Prices Up 14.8 Percent from Last Year

Sales of existing homes rose a higher-than-expected 9.4% in September to a seasonally adjusted annualized charge of 6.54 million units, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors. Sales had been up 20.9% yearly.

A tight supply of homes for sale as well as historically-low mortgage rates continue to push prices higher. The national median price of an existing home sold in September was at an all-time high of $311,800, a 14.8% gain compared with September 2019. 

Sales by Region

Regionally, existing home sales in the Northeast jumped 16.2%, recording an annual rate of 860,000, a 22.9% increase from a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $354,600, up 17.8% from September 2019.

Sales rose 7.1% in the Midwest to an annual rate of 1,510,000 in September, up 19.8% from a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $243,100, a 14.8% increase from September 2019.

Sales in the South increased 8.5% to an annual rate of 2.8 million in September, up 22.3% from the same time one year ago. The median price in the South was $266,900, a 13% increase from a year ago.

Sales in the West rose 9.6% to an annual rate of 1,370,000 in September, an 18.1% increase from a year ago. The median price in the West was $470,800, up 17.1% from September 2019.

Sales of newly built homes in August were a stunning 43% higher annually, but the supply of those homes is also unusually low. Builders are having trouble keeping up with demand. They are also raising prices to keep up with cost increases for land, labor and materials.

“Americans are splurging on spending for housing,” mentioned Lawrence Yun, chief economist on the NAR, noting that they are additionally spending extra on home enhancements at retailers like Home Depot and Lowe’s. “Home prices are simply rising too fast.”

Yun mentioned this might restrict the alternatives for first-time patrons sooner or later. The first-time purchaser share of the market fell to 31% in September from 33% in August.