NAR: Existing-home sales decreased 0.7% in August

WASHINGTON — Existing home sales moved lower in August, according to the National Association of Realtors. Among the four major U.S. regions, sales improved in the Midwest, were unchanged in the Northeast, and slipped in the South and West. All four regions recorded year-over-year sales declines.

Total existing home sales – completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops – slid 0.7% from July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.04 million in August. Year-over-year, sales fell 15.3% (down from 4.77 million in August 2022).

"Home sales have been stable for several months, neither rising nor falling in any meaningful way," said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. "Mortgage rate changes will have a big impact over the short run, while job gains will have a steady, positive impact over the long run. The South had a lighter decline in sales from a year ago due to greater regional job growth since coming out of the pandemic lockdown."

Total housing inventory2 registered at the end of August was 1.1 million units, down 0.9% from July and 14.1% from one year ago (1.28 million). Unsold inventory sits at a 3.3-month supply at the current sales pace, identical to July and up from 3.2 months in August 2022.

The median existing-home price for all housing types in August was $407,100, an increase of 3.9% from August 2022 ($391,700). All four U.S. regions posted price increases.

"Home prices continue to march higher despite lower home sales," Yun said. "Supply needs to essentially double to moderate home price gains."

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Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).