Low supply continues to hold back US home sales

Photo credit:  Cyndie

Low supply levels have continued to hold back sales of US property, as buyers face few options and fewer affordable prices.

With mortgage rates remaining below 4 percent for the third straight month, existing-home sales in October were at a healthy pace but failed to keep up with the previous month’s pace, according to the National Association of Realtors. Total existing-home sales fell 3.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.36 million in October from 5.55 million in September.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, attributes to dip to ongoing stock issues.

“New and existing-home supply has struggled to improve so far this fall, leading to few choices for buyers and no easement of the ongoing affordability concerns still prevalent in some markets,” he explains. “Furthermore, the mixed signals of slowing economic growth and volatility in the financial markets slightly tempered demand and contributed to the decreasing pace of sales.”

Nonetheless, sales remain 3.9 per cent above a year ago, as the market continues a steady long-term recovery. As long employment continues to improve, Yun expects this trend to continue, despite headwinds such as climbing prices.

Indeed, the median existing-home price for all housing types in October was $219,600, 5.8 per cent up year-on-year.