U.S. home prices are up 4.2%

October 29, 2018 11:52 am

U.S. home prices are up 4.2% in the year to September 2018.

The median property value is $258,100, according to the latest figures from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Existing-home sales of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, fell 3.4% from August. They were at a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.15 million in September. Sales are now down 4.1% from a year ago (5.37 million in September 2017).

Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, says rising interest rates have led to a decline in sales across all regions. “A decade’s high mortgage rates are preventing consumers from making quick decisions on home purchases. All the while, affordable home listings remain low, continuing to spur underperforming sales activity across the country.”

U.S. home prices are up 4.2%, rising for 79th month in a row

As U.S. home prices are up 4.2%, September’s price increase marks the 79th straight month of year-over-year gains.

Total housing inventory at the end of September decreased from 1.91 million in August to 1.88 million existing homes available for sale. It is up from 1.86 million a year ago.

Unsold inventory is at a 4.4-month supply, up from 4.3 last month and 4.2 months a year ago.

Properties typically stayed on the market for 32 days in September, up from 29 days in August but down from 34 days a year ago. Almost half (47%) of homes sold in September were on the market for less than a month.

“There is a clear shift in the market with another month of rising inventory on a year over year basis, though seasonal factors are leading to a third straight month of declining inventory,” says Mr Yun. “Homes will take a bit longer to sell compared to the super-heated fast pace seen earlier this year.”

Rising interests rates coupled with increasing home prices are keeping first-time buyers out of the market, but consistent job gains could allow more Americans to enter the market with a steady rise in inventory.

First-time buyers were responsible for 32% of sales in September, up from last month (31%) and a year ago (29%).

All-cash sales rise

All-cash sales accounted for 21% of transactions in September, up from August and a year ago (both 20%). Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 13% of homes in September, unchanged from August and down 2% from a year ago.

Distressed sales – foreclosures and short sales – were 3% of sales in September (the lowest since NAR began tracking in October 2008), unchanged from last month and down from 4%  a year ago.

Single-family home sales were at a seasonally adjusted 4.58million in September, down from 4.74million in August, and are 4% below the 4.77million a year ago. The median existing single-family home price was $260,500 in September, up 4.6% from September 2017.

Existing condominium and co-op sales were recorded at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 570,000 in September, down 3.4% from last month and 5% from a year ago. The median existing condo price was $239,200 in September, which is up 1.5% from a year ago.

The median price in the South was $223,900, up 3% from a year ago.