According to the National Association of REALTORS®, existing-home sales softened in August, the 2nd consecutive month of declines despite mortgage rates hovering near record lows. Not enough homes for sale and higher home prices curtailed sales except in the Northeast, where inventory levels were more balanced. This was the only region in the USA to see closings rise in August.
REALTOR® Magazine said Thursday:
“Hopes of a meaningful sales breakthrough as a result of this summer’s historically low mortgage rates failed to materialize because supply and affordability restrictions continue to keep too many would-be buyers on the sidelines,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.44 percent in August, remaining at its lowest rate since January 2013, according to Freddie Mac. Existing-home sales – which are completed transactions on single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops – dropped 0.9 percent in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.33 million, according to NAR’s report. Sales are now at the second lowest pace of the year. Still, sales are 0.8 percent higher than a year ago, (when sales stood at 5.29 million). “Healthy labor markets in most of the country should be creating a sustained demand for home purchases,” Yun says. “However, there’s no question that after peaking in June, sales in a majority of the country have inched backwards because inventory isn’t picking up to tame price growth and replace what’s being quickly sold.”Read the full report at: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2016/09/22/home-sales-soften-inventory-pricing-woes