MNI BRIEF: US August Existing Home Sales -0.7% To 4.04M SAAR
U.S. sales of existing homes fell 0.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.04 million in August, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday, below market expectations and the third lowest in the cycle. Sales have slumped 15.3% over the year and are down 21% since January.
"We have not seen the bottoming for home sales," NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun told reporters. "We may get another leg down if the mortgage rate was to go to 8%." Still, the national median home price was up 3.9% from one year ago to USD407,100, the third consecutive month the median sales price surpassed USD400,000. "One third of properties have been sold above list price, implying that multiple offers are happening," Yun said.
The inventory of unsold existing homes dipped 0.9% from the previous month to 1.1 million at the end of August, or the equivalent of 3.3 months supply at the current sales pace. "Builders' inventories are up 33% compared to pre-COVID conditions," Yun said. "We have a divergence. Existing home inventory is down 40% from pre-COVID days."