September Witnesses a 2.0% Decrease in Existing-Home Sales
In a recent report released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the data indicates a 2.0% decline in existing-home sales for the month of September when compared to the previous month. Notably, this translates to a more significant 15.4% decrease in sales when compared to September of the preceding year. Concurrent with this decline, the median price for existing homes showed an increase of 2.8%, reaching a notable figure of $394,300.
Regional variations were observed in the existing-home sales landscape, with the Northeast recording an increase in sales while the Midwest, South, and West regions experienced declines. Unfortunately, all four regions reported year-over-year sales decreases. In terms of price dynamics, the Northeast led the way with a robust 5.2% gain, while the West region displayed milder price growth.
Lawrence Yun, the Chief Economist of NAR, points to two prominent factors affecting existing-home sales. Firstly, the challenge of limited housing inventory persists nationwide, although there has been a slight uptick in available properties, the demand continues to outstrip supply. Secondly, the issue of low housing affordability remains a crucial element contributing to the decline in home sales.
In addition to the sales figures, several other noteworthy trends merit attention. Both single-family homes and condominiums have witnessed an increase in median prices. Furthermore, properties are remaining on the market for slightly longer durations, with the average time on the market extending to 21 days in September, up from 20 days in the preceding month. There has also been a decrease in first-time buyers, coupled with an increase in all-cash sales, accounting for 29% of transactions in September.
Stepping onto the path of homeownership represents a significant and exciting milestone in one’s life. To assist individuals in navigating this journey successfully, we have compiled three practical tips:
- Stay Informed About Housing Inventory: Vigilantly monitor fluctuations in housing inventory levels, as these can significantly influence your choices and negotiation leverage. Being prepared to take action when the right opportunity arises is key.
- Evaluate Your Budget and Financing Options: Given the impact of low housing affordability on declining sales, it is paramount to assess your financial situation thoroughly. Explore diverse financing options to ensure that your chosen home aligns with your budget and long-term financial goals.
- Act Swiftly and Proactively: When you discover a property that meets your criteria, swift and proactive measures are vital to avoid missing out. Obtaining a mortgage prequalification in advance can significantly enhance your readiness to seize opportunities.
Navigating the current real estate market as a homebuyer may occasionally feel daunting. However, armed with the right knowledge, you can approach the process with confidence. Stay well-informed about the latest market trends, carefully evaluate your budget, explore local down payment assistance programs, and be ready to act decisively when you encounter the ideal home.