On Thursday morning the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that existing home sales -- completed transactions for single-family homes, town homes, condominiums and co-ops -- advanced 1.3% in August. This reading brings existing home sales up 2.6% from the same time last year.
NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun called out the recent decline in mortgage rates as a key factor of demand. He stated: "As expected, buyers are finding it hard to resist the current rates. The desire to take advantage of these promising conditions is leading more buyers to the market." Yun then said that low supply is keeping upward pressure on list prices: "Sales are up, but inventory numbers remain low and are thereby pushing up home prices. Homebuilders need to ramp up new housing, as the failure to increase construction will put home prices in danger of increasing at a faster pace than income."
On the pricing front, the median existing home price increased 4.7% YoY to $278,200, marking the 90th consecutive month of yearly price gains. According to Freddie Mac, regarding 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgages, the average commitment rate was 3.62% in August, down from 3.77% in July and below the 4.54% average for all of 2018, .
Inventory supplies remain below the six-month level many view as balanced, currently sitting at a 4.1-month supply given the current rate of sales, down from the 4.2-month level seen in July.
Examining monthly stats by region, while sales fell 3.4% in the West (+1.8% YoY), this was more than offset by gains elsewhere, with sales rising 0.9% in the South (+3.6% YoY), 3.1% in the Midwest (+2.3% YoY) and 7.6% in the Northeast (+1.4% YoY).
As for the pricing across the major regions in August, the median price was $303,500 (-0.3% YoY) in the Northeast, $220,000 (+6.6% YoY) in the Midwest, $240,300 (+5.4% YoY) in the South, and $415,900 (+5.7% YoY) in the West.
In light of all this new informantion, we conclude that it is still a housing Nivana! It's a great time to be a seller due to the shortage of supply and it's a great time to be a qualified buyer due to low interest rates and a housing market that seems to be bottoming! It's a perfect time to make that move you've been dreaming about!!