The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has issued a report stating that home sales have increased this fall after seeing a minor decrease. While two of the four major areas in the United States saw slight decreases, the total number of sales of single-family homes, condos, townhomes and coops were up by 1.9% in the month of October. Aside from any discrepancies in regions, sales were up by 4.6% over last year at this same time.
Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said this sales increase is encouraging and he expects added growth in the coming months. “Historically-low interest rates, continuing job expansion, higher weekly earnings and low mortgage rates are undoubtedly contributing to these higher numbers,” said Yun. “We will likely continue to see sales climb as long as potential buyers are presented with an adequate supply of inventory.”
Home prices continue to be on the up with the median price for homes rising by 6.2% in October over that of last year. This has marked the 92nd month in a row for home price gains.
Opposing the rising prices, inventory levels were actually down in October. The amount of available housing had slipped by 2.7% from September and was then 4.3% lower than October of 2018. Unsold inventory stays at a 3.9 month supply at the current pace. This is down from 4.3 months as of 2018 at this same time.
“The issuance of more housing permits is a very positive sign and a good step toward more inventory,” said Yun, citing the latest data for housing starts. “In order to better counter and even slow the increase in housing prices, home builders will have to bring additional homes on the market.”
Time on Market
Homes remained on the market for an average of 36 days in October which was an increase from an average of 32 days in September. This was ironically the same number of days as October of 2018. Forty six percent of properties that were sold in October were on the market for less than one month.