The numbers: Existing-home sales increased for the fourth consecutive month in September, as the U.S. housing market benefitted from low interest rates.
Total existing-home sales rose 9.4% from August to a seasonally-adjusted, annual rate of 6.54 million, the National Association of Realtors reported Thursday. Compared with a year ago, home sales were up nearly 21%.
“Home sales traditionally taper off toward the end of the year, but in September they surged beyond what we normally see during this season,” Lawrence Yun, the trade group’s chief economist, said in the report. “I would attribute this jump to record-low interest rates and an abundance of buyers in the marketplace, including buyers of vacation homes given the greater flexibility to work from home.”
Economists polled by MarketWatch had projected existing-home sales to rise to a median rate of 6.36 million.
What happened: The fast pace of home sales has quickly dwindled the remaining supply of homes on the market, however. More than seven in 10 homes on the market in September sold in less than a month.
As a result, by month’s end the total inventory of homes for sale dropped to a 2.7 months’ supply, the lowest on record. A 6-month supply of homes is considered to be indicative of a balanced market.
Here in Mohave County sales are brisk with residential sales continuing in “boom” territory, and many sales are closed over the original asking price. It’s a feeding frenzy.
Land sales have picked up, and we’re seeing real appreciation for the first time in many years. Anything with a septic, or better yet a well is hot these days. Gotta go, there’s the phone again….Ben