Existing-Home Sales Slowed Last Month

The National Association of Realtors is reporting that Existing-home sales eased up in August for the second consecutive month. This despite mortgage rates remaining at historic lows.

According to the NAR, higher home prices and not enough inventory for sale combined to keep some would-be buyers on the fence.

Total existing-home sales — which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops — declined 0.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.33 million in August.

That’s down from a revised 5.38 million in July.

After last month’s decline, sales are at their second-lowest pace of 2016, but are still slightly higher (0.8 percent) than a year ago (5.29 million).

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said that inventory – the number of homes available to buy – has actually dropped in recent months.

This decrease in supply has helped to push home prices higher in some markets, (Portland, Ore and Seattle would be two cases).

Properties typically stayed on the market for 36 days in August, unchanged from July and down considerably from a year ago (47 days).

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