The numbers: Existing-home sales ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.15 million in September, the National Association of Realtors said Friday. That was a 3.4% decline for the month and the lowest pace of sales since November 2015.
What happened: Sales of previously-owned homes stabilized in August after declining for four straight months, so September’s lurch lower was surprising to some. Sales were 4.1% lower than year-ago levels. September’s selling pace missed the MarketWatch consensus forecast of a 5.27 million rate.
The median sales price in September was $258,100, which was 4.2% higher than a year earlier. Home prices are still growing faster than wages, but the pace of price increases is decelerating steadily.
That’s likely because inventory is ticking up gradually. At the current pace of sales, it would take 4.4 months to exhaust available supply, up from 4.3 months last month. And it’s taking properties longer to get snatched up: homes stayed on the market for 32 days in September, up from 29 days in August. See more...