Existing home sales rebound as inventory nudges higher

Supply shortages to be ‘major problem’ for housing if not fixed soon: NAHB CEO

National Association of Home Builders CEO Jerry Howard on consumer sentiment and how supply issues are impacting builders in the housing industry. 

Existing home sales snapped back in September as more inventory hit the market. 

The number of contracts closed last month rose 7% to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 6.29 million, according to the National Association of Realtors. Analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting a 3.6% increase to 6.09 million contracts closed. 

Sales were down 2.3% from September 2020.

"Some improvement in supply during prior months helped nudge up sales in September," said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist. 

Total housing inventory at the end of September was 1.27 million units, down 0.8% from August and 13% below a year ago (1.46 million). There was a 2.4-month supply of unsold inventory, down 7.7% from August and down from 2.7 months the year prior.

The median existing home price for all types of housing was $352,800, up 13.3% from September 2020. September marked the 115th straight month of year-over-year gains.

Properties remained on the market for an average of 17 days in September, unchanged from August. Time on the market was 21 days in September 2020. 

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Sales rose in all regions of the country, increasing 8.6% in the South, 6.5% in the West, 5.5% in the Northeast and 5.1% in the Midwest. 

First-time homebuyers accounted for 28% of the market. 

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