The number of existing home sales in the U.S. ticked down and prices rose in September.
Previously-owned home sales tumbled to 5.29 million units last month, a 1.9 percent slip from September 2012, according to the National Association of Realtors. The median price of $199,200, meanwhile, was a 11.7 percent increase from the same time one year prior.
“This softening had been expected in response to the increase in mortgage rates that began in May,” Daniel Silver, an economist at JPMorgan in New York, told Reuters.
August sales were also lower than previously estimated, revised to 5.39 million in August.
The triple threat of steep home prices, stagnant salaries and ever-increasing mortgage rates hurt affordability, with September marking a five-year low, the NAR said.
Home sales are expected to continue to slow in October, hampered by the partial government shutdown and consequent mortgage processing delay at the Federal Housing Administration. [Reuters] — Julie Strickland