Existing-Home Sales Receded 4.1% in October
News provided byNational Association of Realtors®
Nov 21, 2023, 10:00 AM ET
- Existing-home sales descended 4.1% in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.79 million. Sales slumped 14.6% from one year ago.
- The median existing-home sales price climbed 3.4% from one year ago to $391,800 – the fourth consecutive month of year-over-year price increases.
- The inventory of unsold existing homes grew 1.8% from the previous month to 1.15 million at the end of October, or the equivalent of 3.6 months’ supply at the current monthly sales pace.
Existing-home sales dropped in October, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Among the four major U.S. regions, sales slid in the Northeast, South and West but were unchanged in the Midwest. All four regions experienced year-over-year sales declines.
Total existing-home sales– completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – fell 4.1% from September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.79 million in October. Year-over-year, sales tumbled 14.6% (down from 4.44 million in October 2022).
“Prospective home buyers experienced another difficult month due to the persistent lack of housing inventory and the highest mortgage rates in a generation,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Multiple offers, however, are still occurring, especially on starter and mid-priced homes, even as price concessions are happening in the upper end of the market.”
Total housing inventory registered at the end of October was 1.15 million units, up 1.8% from September but down 5.7% from one year ago (1.22 million). Unsold inventory sits at a 3.6-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 3.4 months in September and 3.3 months in October 2022.
The median existing-home price for all housing types in October was $391,800, an increase of 3.4% from October 2022 ($378,800). All four U.S. regions registered price increases.
“While circumstances for buyers remain tight, home sellers have done well as prices continue to rise year-over-year, including a new all-time high for the month of October,” Yun said. “In fact, a typical homeowner has accumulated more than $100,000 in housing wealth over the past three years.”
REALTORS® Confidence Index
According to the monthly REALTORS® Confidence Index, properties typically remained on the market for 23 days in October, up from 21 days in September 2023 and October 2022. Sixty-six percent of homes sold in October were on the market for less than a month.
First-time buyers were responsible for 28% of sales in October, up from 27% in September and identical to October 2022. NAR’s 2023 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers – released earlier this month – found that the annual share of first-time buyers was 32%.
All-cash sales accounted for 29% of transactions in October, unchanged from September but up from 26% in October 2022.
Individual investors or second-home buyers, who make up many cash sales, purchased 15% of homes in October, down from 18% in September and 16% one year ago.
Distressed sales – foreclosures and short sales – represented 2% of sales in October, virtually unchanged from last month and the previous year.
According to Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 7.44% as of November 16. That’s down from 7.50% the previous week but up from 6.61% one year ago.
“Fortunately, mortgage rates have fallen for the third straight week, stirring up buying interest,” Yun added. “Though limited now, expect housing inventory to improve after this winter and heading into the spring. More inventory will result in more home sales.”
Single-family and Condo/Co-op Sales
Single-family home sales declined to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.38 million in October, down 4.2% from 3.53 million in September and 14.6% from the previous year. The median existing single-family home price was $396,100 in October, up 3.0% from October 2022.
Existing condominium and co-op sales recorded a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 410,000 units in October, down 2.4% from September and 14.6% from one year ago. The median existing condo price was $356,000 in October, up 7.6% from the prior year ($331,000).
Existing-home sales in the Northeast dipped 4.0% from September to an annual rate of 480,000 in October, down 15.8% from October 2022. The median price in the Northeast was $439,200, up 7.5% from the previous year.
At an annual rate of 930,000 in October, existing-home sales in the Midwest were unchanged from the prior month but down 13.9% from one year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $285,100, up 4.2% from October 2022.
Existing-home sales in the South retracted 7.1% from September to an annual rate of 1.69 million in October, a decline of 14.6% from the previous year. The median price in the South was $357,700, up 3.5% from last year.
In the West, existing-home sales decreased 1.4% from the prior month to an annual rate of 690,000 in October, down 14.8% from one year ago. The median price in the West was $602,200, up 2.3% from October 2022.
The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.5 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. The term Realtor® is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of Realtors® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.
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For local information, please contact the local association of Realtors® for data from local multiple listing services (MLS). Local MLS data is the most accurate source of sales and price information in specific areas, although there may be differences in reporting methodology.
NOTE: NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index for October is scheduled for release on November 30, and Existing-Home Sales for November will be released on December 20. Release times are 10 a.m. Eastern.
Information about NAR is available at nar.realtor. This and other news releases are posted in the newsroom at nar.realtor/newsroom. Statistical data in this release, as well as other tables and surveys, are posted in the “Research and Statistics” tab.
 Existing-home sales, which include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, are based on transaction closings from Multiple Listing Services. Changes in sales trends outside of MLSs are not captured in the monthly series. NAR benchmarks home sales periodically using other sources to assess overall home sales trends, including sales not reported by MLSs.
Existing-home sales, based on closings, differ from the U.S. Census Bureau’s series on new single-family home sales, which are based on contracts or the acceptance of a deposit. Because of these differences, it is not uncommon for each series to move in different directions in the same month. In addition, existing-home sales, which account for more than 90% of total home sales, are based on a much larger data sample – about 40% of multiple listing service data each month – and typically are not subject to large prior-month revisions.
The annual rate for a particular month represents what the total number of actual sales for a year would be if the relative pace for that month were maintained for 12 consecutive months. Seasonally adjusted annual rates are used in reporting monthly data to factor out seasonal variations in resale activity. For example, home sales volume is normally higher in the summer than in the winter, primarily because of differences in the weather and family buying patterns. However, seasonal factors cannot compensate for abnormal weather patterns.
Single-family data collection began monthly in 1968, while condo data collection began quarterly in 1981; the series were combined in 1999 when monthly collection of condo data began. Prior to this period, single-family homes accounted for more than nine out of 10 purchases. Historic comparisons for total home sales prior to 1999 are based on monthly single-family sales, combined with the corresponding quarterly sales rate for condos.
 Total inventory and month’s supply data are available back through 1999, while single-family inventory and month’s supply are available back to 1982 (prior to 1999, single-family sales accounted for more than 90% of transactions and condos were measured only on a quarterly basis).
 The median price is where half sold for more and half sold for less; medians are more typical of market conditions than average prices, which are skewed higher by a relatively small share of upper-end transactions. The only valid comparisons for median prices are with the same period a year earlier due to seasonality in buying patterns. Month-to-month comparisons do not compensate for seasonal changes, especially for the timing of family buying patterns. Changes in the composition of sales can distort median price data. Year-ago median and mean prices sometimes are revised in an automated process if additional data is received.
The national median condo/co-op price often is higher than the median single-family home price because condos are concentrated in higher-cost housing markets. However, in a given area, single-family homes typically sell for more than condos as seen in NAR’s quarterly metro area price reports.
 Survey results represent owner-occupants and differ from separately reported monthly findings from NAR’s REALTORS® Confidence Index, which include all types of buyers. The annual study only represents primary residence purchases, and does not include investor and vacation home buyers. Results include both new and existing homes.
 Distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales), days on market, first-time buyers, all-cash transactions and investors are from a monthly survey for the NAR’s REALTORS® Confidence Index, posted at nar.realtor.
Troy Green National Association of Realtors® email@example.com
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