Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

September 2021 Existing-Home Sales Bounce Back 7% from Prior Month

NAR released a summary of existing-home sales data showing that housing market activity this September inclined 7.0% from August 2021. September's existing-home sales reached a 6.29 million seasonally adjusted annual rate. September's sales of existing homes declined 2.3% from September 2020.

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

The national median existing-home price for all housing types rose to $352,800 in September, up 13.3% from a year ago. Home prices have continued to rise, and this marks the 115th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.

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

Regionally, all four regions showed strong price growth from a year ago. The South had the largest gain of 14.8% followed by the Northeast with an increase of 9.2%. The Midwest showed an increase of 9.1% and the West had the smallest price gain of 8.3% from September 2020.

September's inventory declined 0.8% from last month standing at 1.27 million homes for sale, falling for the second consecutive month. Compared with September of 2020, inventory levels are 13.0% lower. This would mark 28 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 17 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, September 2020 and September 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 August of 2021, all of the four regions showed increases in sales. The South region had the largest increase of 8.6% followed by the West with a gain of 6.5%. The Northeast rose 5.5% followed by the Midwest with the smallest increase of 5.1%.

The South led all regions in percentage of national sales, accounting for 44.0% of the total, while the Northeast had the smallest share at 12.2%.

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

In September, single-family sales increased 7.7% and condominiums sales were up 1.4% compared to last month. Single-family home sales were down 3.1% while condominium sales were up 4.5% compared to a year ago. The median sales price of single-family homes rose to 13.8% at $359,700 from September 2020, while the median sales price of condominiums rose 9.3% at $297,900.

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