After dipping in August, U.S. existing home sales rose markedly in September.
Sales of existing homes grew 7 percent from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.29 million, according to the latest monthly report from the National Association of Realtors.
However, the number of existing home sales was still 2.3 percent below where it was a year ago. Such homes include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops.
The monthly uptick can be attributed to more supply hitting the market, said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.
“Housing demand remains strong as buyers likely want to secure a home before mortgage rates increase even further next year,” Yun said.
The number of unsold homes fell 13 percent from last year to 1.27 million units, which is down 0.8 percent from August. It would take 2.4 months to sell those homes at September’s pace, slightly faster than the 2.7 months it would have taken in September last year.
Meanwhile, the median existing home price for all housing types rose year-over-year for the 115th straight month, to $352,800.
“As mortgage forbearance programs end, and as homebuilders ramp up production — despite the supply-chain material issues — we are likely to see more homes on the market as soon as 2022,” Yun predicted.
Buyers are still snatching up homes almost as soon as they are listed. As in August, homes typically remained on the market for only 17 days in September, four days faster than a year ago. About 86 percent of homes sold in September this year were on the market for less than a month.
All four major U.S. regions saw existing home sales rise from August. On a year-over-year basis, the number of sales in the South remained unchanged while the other regions saw declines.