Existing home sales steady in Aug., on Northeast strength

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Existing home sales were flat at a seasonally adjusted 5.34 million-unit rate in August from an unrevised 0.7% decline to a 5.34 million sales pace the previous month, the National Association of Realtors announced Thursday.

The August rate is a 1.5% decrease from the same month a year ago. The headline number was below the median 5.355 million unit pace predicted by economists polled by IFR Markets.

“Strong gains in the Northeast and a moderate uptick in the Midwest helped to balance out any losses in the South and West, halting months of downward momentum,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. “With inventory stabilizing and modestly rising, buyers appear ready to step back into the market.”

Sales in the regions were mixed. They were up 7.6% in the Northeast and 2.4% in the Midwest, but down 0.4% in the South and 5.9% in the West.

The median sales price was $264,800 in August, up 4.6% from a year ago.

Inventory levels were flat at 1.92 million existing homes, representing a 4.3-month supply at the current pace. Inventory was up from 4.1 months in August 2017.

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Economic indicators Housing