September existing-home sales declined modestly, but inventory continued to tighten and the national median home price recorded its seventh back-to-back monthly increase from a year earlier, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, fell 1.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.75 million in September from a revised 4.83 million in August, but are 11 percent above the 4.28 million-unit pace in September 2011.
“Despite occasional month-to-month setbacks, we’re experiencing a genuine recovery,” says Lawrence Yun , Chief Economist for NAR. “More people are attempting to buy homes than are able to qualify for mortgages, and recent price increases are not deterring buyer interest. Rather, inventory shortages are limiting sales, notably in parts of the West.”
Distressed homes accounted for 24 percent of September sales (13 percent were foreclosures and 11 percent were short sales), up from 22 percent in August; they were 30 percent in September 2011. PR