Existing-home sales surged 7 percent in September 2021 to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.29 million following August’s 2 percent dip in sales, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported on Thursday.
Year-over-year, existing-home sales were down 2.3 percent, however.
All four major U.S. regions saw an increase in sales from the previous month. On an annual basis, though, only the South held steady, while the remaining three regions saw a decline in existing-home sales.
Rates for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage clocked in at 2.9 percent in September, up from 2.84 percent August and 2.87 percent in July, according to Freddie Mac.
“Some improvement in supply during prior months helped nudge up sales in September,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement. “Housing demand remains strong as buyers likely want to secure a home before mortgage rates increase even further next year.”
Amidst continued supply chain issues, total inventory saw a slight crunch in September, declining 0.8 percent from August, and decreasing 13.0 percent from the year before to 1.27 million units.
Unsold inventory was at a 2.4-month supply, down 7.7 percent from the month before.
The median existing-home price across all housing types continued to climb, and was up 13.3 percent from September 2020 to $351,800, marking the 115th consecutive month of annual increases.
Despite challenges homebuilders have faced with materials in recent months, Yun said that inventory is expected to grow soon with builders increasing production and more mortgage forbearance programs expiring.
“We are likely to see more homes on the market as soon as 2022,” Yun said.
Properties remained on the market for 17 days in September, the same rate seen in August, but down slightly from 21 days in September 2020. A whopping 86 percent of homes sold during the month were on the market for less than 30 days.
The number of first-time buyers declined slightly as prices continued to rise, making up 28 percent of sales in September compared to 29 percent in August and 31 percent in September 2020.
Individual investors made up 13 percent of home purchases in September, down slightly from 15 percent in August, and up from 12 percent the year before.
Nearly one-quarter of transactions were all-cash sales in September (23 percent), up from 22 percent in August and 18 percent in September 2020.
Single-family home sales were up 7.7 percent from August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.59 million, but still down 3.1 percent from September 2020. The median existing single-family home price was up 13.8 percent from the previous year to $359,700.
Meanwhile, existing condo and co-op sales rose 1.4 percent from August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 700,000 units, also up 4.5 percent from the previous year. The median existing condo price also rose 9.3 percent year over year to $297,900.
The South saw the largest monthly increase in existing-home sales, growing 8.6 percent from the previous month to an annual rate of 2,770,000 (the same rate as the year before). The region’s median price grew 14.8 percent from the year before to $307,500.
Existing-home sales in the West increased 6.5 percent to an annual rate of 1,310,000, down 3.0 percent from September 2020. Meanwhile, the median price rose 8.3 percent from the year before to $506,300.
In the Northeast, existing-home sales rose 5.5 percent to an annual rate of 770,000, down 8.3 percent from the previous year. The region’s median price increased 9.2 percent year over year to $387,200.
The Midwest saw existing-home sales grow by 5.1 percent to an annual rate of 1,440,000, down 2.7 percent from the year before. The median price rose 9.1 percent from September 2020 to $265,300.