National Association of Realtors Data Review
Data from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) shows that -- following three consecutive months of dips -- sales of existing homes rose slightly in September, but continuing inventory shortages and recent hurricanes put a damper on activity, causing sales to retreat on an annual basis.
Total existing-home sales (transactions for single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops) climbed 0.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million in September from August's 5.35 million. Last month's sales pace is 1.5% slower than a year ago.
NAR's chief economist, Lawrence Yun, said closings registered a small gain in September, but fell on an annual basis for the first time in over a year. “Home sales in recent months remain at their lowest level of the year and are unable to break through, despite considerable buyer interest in most parts of the country,” Yun said. He added, “Realtors® this fall continue to say the primary impediments stifling sales growth are the same as they have been all year: not enough listings – especially at the lower end of the market – and fast-rising prices that are straining the budgets of prospective buyers.”
Housing Data Takeaways
- September's median price for existing homes (all housing types) was $245,100, up 4.2% over September 2016 ($235,200). September's price rise marks the 67th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.
- U.S. total housing inventory at the end of September grew 1.6% to 1.90 million existing homes available for sale, but remains 6.4% lower than 2016 (2.03 million) and has dropped year-over-year for 28 straight months. Unsold inventory sits at a 4.2-month supply at the current sales pace, a dip from 4.5 months in 2016.
- Nationally, first-time buyers drove 29 percent of sales in September, down from 31% in August, and 34% a year ago. NAR data shows that 2016's annual share of first-time buyers was 35 percent.
- According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage dipped to 3.81% in September from 3.88% in August and is the lowest since November 2016 (3.77%). The average commitment rate for all of 2016 was 3.65%.
Getting Your Home Ready To Sell
When preparing your home for sale, a number of simple cosmetic changes often provide the biggest return on investment. Here are three tips to upgrade your house without breaking the bank:
- Bring in the light. The right light creates the right mood. Adding lights to dark rooms can make your home feel warm and inviting. Bring outdoor light inside by opening curtains and installing economical sun tubes.
- Create Space. Many of today's buyers are looking for open rooms. Consider removing unwanted walls to make your home feel more spacious. Buyers will often pay a premium to get a bit of extra room.
- Replace Flooring. Get rid of that old carpet in the den and replace it with today's newer hardwoods and laminates. You don't have to spend a lot to make a big impression!
These simple tips can help you sell your home and take advantage of our today's market. Please contact us if you have any questions about selling your home. We are here to help!
The Right Mortgage For You
Shopping around for a home loan or mortgage will help you to get the best financing deal. A mortgage - whether it's a home purchase, a refinancing, or a home equity loan - is a product, just like a car, so the price and terms may be negotiable. You'll want to compare all the costs involved in obtaining a mortgage. Shopping, comparing, and negotiating may save you thousands of dollars.
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development offers a free brochure to help guide you through this process. Download a free copy today, and please contact us for a list of preferred mortgage professionals in our area.