The NAR reported that existing home sales were unchanged for September [Marketwatch] at the annual seasonally adjusted rate of 7.28 million homes, the second highest in history. The hurricanes prompted a sharp increase in purchases outside the damaged regions which offset weaker sales levels in other regions.
The median sales price of a US existing home was $212,000, up 13.4% over the prior year. Inventory increased 0.3% to 2.85 million or a 4.7% supply. The NAR interprets inventory as still “relatively lean.” I am a big fan of the charts churned out by Calculated Risk, and once again they have created an excellent graphic – this time covering inventory.
So existing homes sales, which is about 10x the number of new housing starts and therefore more telling of the overall housing market condition, was at a record level but did not see gains. At the same time, rising inventory appears to be gaining momentum. This should temper price appreciation in the coming months.