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US existing home sales miss forecasts in September

By Alexander Bueso

Date: Friday 19 Oct 2018

US existing home sales miss forecasts in September

(Sharecast News) - America's residential real estate markets continued to cool in September with activity slowing to a three-year low on the back of higher interest rates on mortgages.
According to the National Association of Realtors, existing home sales declined by 3.4% month-on-month to reach an annualised rate of 5.15m (consensus: 5.31m).

Last month's decline also pushed the pace of sales below its year-earlier level of 5.37m.

"A decade's high mortgage rates are preventing consumers from making quick decisions on home purchases. All the while, affordable home listings remain low, continuing to spur underperforming sales activity across the country," said NAR's chief economist, Lawrence Yun.

Nevertheless, the year-on-year rate of increase in the median price for an existing home meanwhile was ahead by 4.2% to reach $258,100.

The number of homes available for sale meanwhile declined, from 1.91m to 1.88m, but was higher than the year-ago level of 1.86m.

In terms of months-worth of sales, the unsold inventory of homes was at 4.4, versus 4.2 one year ago and 4.3 in the month before.

Properties were also now taking bit longer to sell, remaining on the market for 32 days in September versus 29 in August, albeit less than the year-ago number of 34.

"There is a clear shift in the market with another month of rising inventory on a year over year basis, though seasonal factors are leading to a third straight month of declining inventory," Yun said.

"Homes will take a bit longer to sell compared to the super-heated fast pace seen earlier this year."

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