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NAR: Existing-Home Sales Slump 5.9% in Oct.

National sales retreated for the 9th straight month, down 5.9% from Sept. and 28.4% year-to-year. Median home prices continued to increase, up 6.6% year-to-year.

WASHINGTON – Existing-home sales retreated for the ninth straight month in October, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). All four major U.S. regions registered month-over-month and year-over-year declines.

Total existing-home sales – completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – decreased 5.9% from September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.43 million in October. Year-over-year, sales dropped by 28.4% (down from 6.19 million in October 2021).

“More potential homebuyers were squeezed out from qualifying for a mortgage in October as mortgage rates climbed higher,” says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “The impact is greater in expensive areas of the country and in markets that witnessed significant home price gains in recent years.”

Total housing inventory registered at the end of October was 1.22 million units, down 0.8% from both September and one year ago (1.23 million). Unsold inventory sits at a 3.3-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 3.1 months in September and 2.4 months in October 2021.

“Inventory levels are still tight, which is why some homes for sale are still receiving multiple offers,” Yun adds. “In October, 24% of homes received over the asking price. Conversely, homes sitting on the market for more than 120 days saw prices reduced by an average of 15.8%.”

The median existing-home price for all housing types in October was $379,100, a gain of 6.6% from October 2021 ($355,700), as prices rose in all regions. This marks 128 consecutive months of year-over-year increases, the longest-running streak on record.

Properties typically remained on the market for 21 days in October, up from 19 days in September and 18 days in October 2021. Sixty-four percent of homes sold in October 2022 were on the market for less than a month.

First-time buyers were responsible for 28% of sales in October, down from 29% in both September 2022 and October 2021. NAR’s 2022 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, released earlier this month, found that the annual share of first-time buyers was 26%, the lowest since NAR began tracking the data.

All-cash sales accounted for 26% of transactions in October, up from 22% in September and 24% in October 2021.

Individual investors or second-home buyers, who make up many cash sales, purchased 16% of homes in October, up from 15% in September, but down from 17% in October 2021.

Distressed sales – foreclosures and short sales – represented 1% of sales in October, down from 2% in September and identical to October 2021.

According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage was 6.90% in October, up from 6.11% in September. The average commitment rate across all of 2021 was 2.96%.

“Mortgage rates have come down since peaking in mid-November, so home sales may be close to reaching the bottom in the current housing cycle,” Yun says.

Realtor.com’s Market Trends Report in October shows that the largest year-over-year median list price growth occurred in Milwaukee (+34.5%), Miami (+25.1%) and Kansas City (+21.4%). Phoenix reported the highest increase in the share of homes that had prices reduced compared to last year (+35.9 percentage points), followed by Austin (+31.2 percentage points) and Las Vegas (+24.4 percentage points).

Single-family and condo/co-op sales: Single-family home sales declined to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.95 million in October, down 6.4% from 4.22 million in September and 28.2% from one year ago. The median existing single-family home price was $384,900 in October, up 6.2% from October 2021.

Existing condominium and co-op sales were recorded at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 480,000 units in October, down 2.0% from September and 30.4% from the previous year. The median existing condo price was $331,000 in October, an annual increase of 10.1%.

“For consumers looking to buy or sell a home, having a Realtor® by their side to navigate one of the more challenging and complex markets we’ve seen in some time will be essential to successfully completing transactions,” says NAR President Kenny Parcell. “ Realtors understand local market conditions and provide timely and trusted advice, from listing to closing.”

Regional breakdown: Existing-home sales in the Northeast trailed off 6.6% from September to an annual rate of 570,000 in October, a decline of 23.0% from October 2021. The median price in the Northeast was $408,700, an increase of 8.0% from the previous year.

Existing-home sales in the Midwest retracted 5.3% from the previous month to an annual rate of 1,080,000 in October, falling 25.5% from the prior year. The median price in the Midwest was $274,500, up 5.9% from October 2021.

In the South, existing-home sales declined 4.8% in October from September to an annual rate of 1,980,000, a 27.2% decrease from this time last year. The median price in the South was $346,300, an increase of 8.0% from one year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West waned 9.1% from September to an annual rate of 800,000 in October, down 37.5% from one year ago. The median price in the West was $588,400, a 5.3% increase from October 2021.

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