US home sales up 12 months in a row

Photo credit:   Michael Patrick

Sales of existing homes in the US have risen for 12 months in a row, as confidence continues to climb.

Sales rebounded strongly in September, according to the National Association of Realtors, following a dip in August.

All four major regions saw sales rise, with overall transactions rising 4.7 per cent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.55 million – 8.8 per cent above a year ago and 12 month of annual growth in a row.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says a slight moderation in house prices and low mortgage rates gave more households the confidence close on a home.

“September home sales bounced back solidly after slowing in August and are now at their second highest pace since February 2007 (5.79 million),” he explains.

Demand helped to drive up the median existing–home price to $221,900, 6.1 per cent above September 2014 ($209,100). September’s price increase marks the 43rd consecutive month of year–over–year gains.

“While current price growth around 6 per cent is still roughly double the pace of wages, affordability has slightly improved since the spring and is helping to keep demand at a strong and sustained pace,” adds Yun.

“Despite persistent inventory shortages, the housing market has made great strides this year, backed by an increasing share of pent–up sellers realizing the increased equity they’ve gained from rising home prices and using it towards trading up or moving into a smaller home,” he adds. “Unfortunately, first–time buyers are still failing to generate any meaningful traction this year.”

Indeed, first–time buyers fell to 29 per cent of sales in September after climbing to their highest share of the year in August (32 per cent).