Existing-Home Sales Up 10% in September

Inventory at 10.7 months’ supply

By Inman News, Monday, October 25, 2010.

For the second straight month after hitting a record low in July, existing-home sales climbed in September from the month before, according to a monthly report from the National Association of Realtors.

Sales of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops jumped 10 percent last month, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.53 million from a downwardly revised 4.12 million in August, the report said.

That’s a 19.1 percent drop from the rate in September 2009 — a drop the association attributed buyers “ramping up” before the original November deadline for the federal homebuyer tax credits last year.

“A housing recovery is taking place but will be choppy at times depending on the duration and impact of a foreclosure moratorium. But the overall direction should be a gradual rising trend in home sales with buyers responding to historically low mortgage interest rates and very favorable affordability conditions,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, in a statement.

Single-family home sales rose 10 percent month-to-month in September and fell 19.5 percent year-over-year, to 3.97 million. Condo and co-op sales rose 9.8 percent month-to-month and dropped 16.2 percent year-over-year, to 560,000.

The national median price for existing homes fell 2.4 percent from September 2009, to $171,700. Distressed properties may be a factor in the drop: they made up 35 percent of sales last month, compared to 34 percent in August and 29 percent in September 2009.