Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

August 2023 Existing-Home Sales Fall as Home Prices Increase with Mortgage Rates

NAR released a summary of existing-home sales data showing that housing market activity this August declined 0.7% from July 2023. August’s existing-home sales reached a 4.04 million seasonally adjusted annual rate. August’s sales of existing homes weakened by 15.3% from August 2022.

Line graph: U.S. Existing-Home Sales, August 2022 to August 2023

The national median existing-home price for all housing types reached $407,100 in August, up 3.9% from a year ago.

Bar graph: U.S. and Regional Median Sales Price of Existing-Home Sales, August 2023 and August 2022

Regionally, all four regions showed price growth from a year ago in August. The Midwest had the most significant gain of 6.8%, followed by the Northeast with an increase of 5.8%. The South increased 3.2%, while the West region rose 1.0%.

August’s inventory of unsold listings as of the end of the month was down 0.9% from last month, standing at 1,100,000 homes for sale. Compared with August of 2022, inventory levels were down 14.1%. It will take 3.3 months to move the current inventory level at the current sales pace, well below the desired pace of 6 months. Inventory conditions continue to be a challenge for potential home buyers.  

It takes approximately 20 days for a home to go from listing to a contract in the current housing market. A year ago, it took 16 days.

Bar graph: Inventory, August 2022 to August 2023

From a year ago, all four regions had double-digit declines in sales in August. The Northeast had the most significant dip of 22.6%, followed by the Midwest, which fell 16.4%. The West decreased 15.7%, followed by the South, down 12.4%.   

Compared to July 2023, two of the four regions showed declines in sales. Only the Midwest had an incline of 1.0%. The West region had the biggest drop in sales of 2.6%, followed by the South with a dip of 1.1%. The Northeast region was flat from last month.  

The South led all regions in percentage of national sales, accounting for 45.5% of the total, while the Northeast had the smallest share at 11.9%.

Bar graph: Regional Existing-Home Sales and Year-Over-Year Percent Change, August 2023 and August 2020

In August, single-family sales decreased 1.4%, and condominium sales were down 4.8% compared to last month. Single-family home sales were down 15.3%, while condominium sales fell 15.4% compared to a year ago. The median sales price of single-family homes rose 3.7% to $413,500 from August 2022, while the median sales price of condominiums increased by 6.2% to $333,900.

Line graph: Year-Over-Year Percent Change in Single-family and Condominium Existing-Home Sales, January 2020 to August 2023
Line graph: Year-Over-Year Percent Change in Single-family and Condominium Median Sales Prices, January 2020 to August 2023