According to a recent report released from the National Association of Realtors, existing home sales have shown an increase this fall for the first time in months. An increase in numbers was seen in three of the four major areas across the United States.
Existing home sales including single families, condominiums, co-ops and townhomes had grown by 1.4% at the end of October to an amount of 5.22 million. Sales are still 5.1% lower than this same time last year, but the uptick for the month has been a positive sign for the market.
Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, says increasing housing inventory has brought more buyers to the market. “After six consecutive months of decline, buyers are finally stepping back into the housing market,” he said. “Gains in the Northeast, South and West – a reversal from last month’s steep decline or plateau in all regions – helped overall sales activity rise for the first time since March 2018.”
The median existing home price for all properties has continued to increase for the 80th month in a row with prices up 3.8% over that of this time last year.
Inventory levels had dipped by the end of the month, but they were actually higher than this time last year. This has brought unsold inventory to a 4.4 month’s supply which is up from 3.9 months from last year at this time. Six months of inventory is considered a “normal” market.
In the mortgage rate department, Freddie Mac has reported that the average commitment rate for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage is at 4.83% which is up from 4.63% from just recently in September.
“As more inventory enters the market and we head into the winter season, home price growth has begun to slow more meaningfully,” said Yun. “This allows for much more manageable, less frenzied buying conditions.”