The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has recently shared data showing that home sales have increased this fall after experiencing a slight dip. While two of the four major regions in the United States saw slight decreases, overall sales of single-family homes, condos, townhomes and coops have increased by 1.9% in the month of October. Despite any differences in regions, sales were up by 4.6% over 2018 at this same time.
Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said this sales increase is encouraging and he expects added growth in the coming months. “Historically-low interest rates, continuing job expansion, higher weekly earnings and low mortgage rates are undoubtedly contributing to these higher numbers,” said Yun. “We will likely continue to see sales climb as long as potential buyers are presented with an adequate supply of inventory.”
Home prices continue their trend to be on the up. The median price for homes had increased by 6.2% in October over that of last year. This has now marked the 92nd month in a row for home price gains.
On the flip side of rising prices, inventory levels were down in October. The number of available homes had decreased by 2.7% from September and was then 4.3% lower than October of 2018. Unsold inventory sits at a 3.9 month supply at the current sales pace. This is down from 4.3 months as of last year at this same time.
“The issuance of more housing permits is a very positive sign and a good step toward more inventory,” said Yun, citing the latest data for housing starts. “In order to better counter and even slow the increase in housing prices, home builders will have to bring additional homes on the market.”
Average Number of Days on Market
Homes remained on the market for an average of 36 days in October. This was an increase from 32 days in September and was actually the same number of days as October of 2018. Forty six percent of properties that were sold in October were on the market for less than one month.