Real Estate Sales Climb From Record Low

Supply of for-sale existing homes rises 26% in past year

By Inman News, Thursday, September 23, 2010.

The rate of existing-home sales climbed 7.6 percent in August from a record low in July, to 4.13 million. Despite the monthly gain, the August sales rate was the second lowest in at least 15 years, the National Association of Realtors reported, down 19 percent from its August 2009 level.

The median price for resale homes — including single-family homes, townhomes, condos and co-ops — rose 0.8 percent year-over-year in August, to $178,600, NAR also reported.

The median price of single-family resale homes climbed 1.2 percent and the median price of resale condos and co-ops dropped 2.8 percent year-over-year in August.

The inventory of resale homes for sale dropped slightly (0.6 percent) compared to July while rising 1.5 percent compared to August 2009, and the estimated 11.6-month supply of for-sale homes in August was down 7.2 percent compared to the July supply but up 26.1 percent compared to the August 2009 supply.

A supply of six months is considered to be a rough balance between a buyer’s market and a seller’s market.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Census Bureau and Housing and Urban Development Department reported that the pace of new-home building permits dropped an estimated 6.7 percent while housing starts climbed 2.2 percent year-over-year in August.