According to a report from the National Association of Realtors® existing home sales declined last month (September 2013) with limited inventory continuing to pressure home prices higher.
Total existing-home sales, (include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and “co-ops”) declined 1.9 percent – but are 10.7 percent above the 4.78 million-unit pace in September 2012. Sales have remained above year-ago levels for the past 27 months.
All-cash sales also rose in September. 33 percent of transactions in September were all-cash sales – up from 32 percent in August, and 28 percent in September 2012. 74 percent of individual investors, who account for many cash sales, paid cash and purchased 19 percent of homes in September, up from 17 percent in August, and 18 percent in September 2012.
Data from realtor.com,4 NAR’s listing site, show some of the strongest increases in listing price from a year ago are in the Detroit area, up 44.6 percent; Las Vegas, up 30.7 percent; and Sacramento, up 28.9 percent.
According to NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun the decline in total sales was expected. Says Yun, “affordability has fallen to a five-year low as home price increases easily outpaced income growth”. He further added “expected rising mortgage interest rates will further lower affordability in upcoming months.”
In September 2012, Freddie Mac reports that the national average commitment rate for a 30 year conventional, fixed rate mortgage was 3.47 percent. In September 2013 that rate was 4.49 percent – up from 4.46 percent in August.