Sept. 20, 2013 – Existing-home sales rose to a seasonally adjusted 5.48 million units in August – the highest pace since February 2007 – as home buyers closed on deals ahead of rate increases, according to NAFCU Research Assistant Doug Christman.
Existing-home sales increased 1.7 percent nationwide in August. “Existing home sales data tracks completed sales, which are initiated a month or two prior to the sale date. August buyers may have locked in mortgages prior to the recent increase in mortgage rates,” Christman said in a NAFCU Macro Data Flash report. Year over year, existing-home sales were up 13.2 percent.
Sales increased in two of the four regions in August. The South had the largest growth, 3.8 percent, followed by the Midwest, where sales rose 3.1 percent. The West saw a decrease of 2.3 percent, and the Northeast had no change.
In terms of year-over-year sales, the Midwest reported the strongest increase, 18.9 percent, followed by:
- the South, 13.5 percent;
- the Northeast, 12.7 percent; and
- the West, 7.7 percent.
The months of available inventory decreased to 4.9 months of supply in August from a downwardly revised 5 months of supply in July. August’s figure for months of supply was 18.3 percent lower than last year at this time.
The median existing-home price, non-seasonally adjusted, decreased from a revised $212,400 in July to $212,100 in August – up from $184,900 a year ago. “Tight housing inventory and a decline in distressed-home sales continue to support existing-home prices,” Christman said.
“The Fed’s decision to delay tapering its purchases of mortgage-backed securities will continue to support the housing market, which is expected to remain a key driver of economic growth throughout the year,” Christman said.