Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

October 2021 Existing-Home Sales Rise Modestly

NAR released a summary of existing-home sales data showing that housing market activity this October inclined 0.8% from September 2021. October's existing-home sales reached a 6.34 million seasonally adjusted annual rate. October's sales of existing homes declined 5.8% from October 2020.

Line graph: U.S. Existing-Home Sales, October 2020 to October 2021

The national median existing-home price for all housing types rose to $353,900 in October, up 13.1% from a year ago. Home prices have continued to rise, and this marks the 117th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.

Bar graph: U.S. and Regional Median Sales Price of Existing-Home Sales, October 2021 and October 2020

Regionally, all four regions showed strong price growth from a year ago. The South had the largest gain of 16.1% followed by the Midwest with an incline of 7.8%. The West showed an increase of 7.7% and the Northeast had the smallest price gain of 6.4% from October 2020.

October's inventory declined 0.8% from last month, standing at 1.25 million homes for sale, falling for the second consecutive month. Compared with October of 2020, inventory levels are 12.0% lower. This would mark 29 straight months of year-over-year declines. It will take 2.4 months to move the current level of inventory at the current sales pace, well below the desired pace of 6 months.

Demand remains strong as home buyers are snatching listings quickly off the MLS, and it takes approximately 18 days for a home to go from listing to a contract in the current housing market. A year ago, it took 21 days.

Bar graph: Inventory, October 2020 to October 2021

From a year ago, all four regions had declines in sales, except the South where sales were flat. The Northeast had the biggest dip of 8.3%, followed by the West, which fell 3.0%. The Midwest had the smallest decline in sales of 2.7%.

From September of 2021, three of the four regions showed increases in sales. The West region had no change in sales. The Midwest region had the largest incline of 4.2%, followed by the South with the smallest gain of 0.4%.

The South led all regions in percentage of national sales, accounting for 43.8% of the total, while the Northeast had the smallest share at 11.8%.

Bar graph: Regional Existing-Home Sales and Year-Over-Year Percent Change, October 2021 and October 2020

In October, single-family sales increased 1.3% and condominiums sales were down 2.9% compared to last month. Single-family home sales were down 5.8% while condominium sales were down 5.6% compared to a year ago. The median sales price of single-family homes rose to 13.5% at $360,800 from October 2020, while the median sales price of condominiums rose 8.7% at $296,700.

Line graph: Single-family vs. Condo Sales Month-Over-Month Percent Change, February 2019 to October 2021
Line graph: Single-family vs. Condo Price Year-Over-Year Percent Change, January 2019 to September 2021