Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

September 2019 Existing-Home Sales

NAR released a summary of existing-home sales data showing that housing market activity this September fell 2.2% from August 2019. September’s sales of existing homes increased 3.9% from September 2018. September’s existing-home sales reached a 5.38 million seasonally adjusted annual rate.

Line graph: U.S. Existing-Home Sales by Month, September 2018-September 2019

The national median existing-home price for all housing types reached $272,100 in September up 5.9 percent from a year ago.  This would be the strongest price growth since January 2018 when prices also rose 5.9%. This marks the 91st consecutive month of year-over-year gains.

Bar chart: Sales Price of Existing-Home Sales by Region

Regionally, all four regions showed growth in prices from a year ago. The Midwest had largest gain of 7.2% followed by the South with an increase of 6.3%. The Northeast had an increase of 5.2% and the West had the smallest gain of 4.5% from September 2018.

September’s inventory figures were flat from last month standing at 1.83 million homes for sale. Compared with September of 2018, inventory levels were down 2.7%. This would mark four straight months of year-over-year declines. It will take 4.1 months to move the current level of inventory at the current sales pace. It takes approximately 32 days for a home to go from listing to a contract in the current housing market, the same as last year.

Bar chart: Inventory by Month, September 2018–September 2019

From August 2019, all four regions showed declines in sales. The Midwest had the biggest decline in sales at 3.1%. The Northeast fell 2.8% followed by the South with a dip of 2.1%. The West had the smallest decline of 0.9%.

From a year ago, three of the four regions showed inclines in sales while the Midwest was flat. The South had the biggest gain in sales at 6.0% followed by the West with an incline of 5.6%. The Northeast had the smallest increase of 1.5%.

The South led all regions in percentage of national sales, accounting for 42.4 % of the total, while the Northeast had the smallest share at 12.8%.

Bar chart: Regional Sales, September 2018 and September 2019

In September, single-family sales were down 2.6% and condominiums sales were down 1.7% compared to last month. Single-family home sales were up 2.9% and condominium sales up 3.4% compared to a year ago. Single-family homes had an increase in price up 6.1% at $275,100 and condominiums rose 4.5% at $248,600 from September 2018.

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