Existing-home sales fall in September

October 19th, 2012

Sales of existing homes declined slightly in September, despite a strengthening of home prices.

Although home prices are strengthening across the country, sales of existing homes fell in September, according to new data.

The National Association of Realtors reports total existing-home sales – defined as completed transactions of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – fell 1.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.75 million units in September from the revised 4.83 million sales in August. Despite the month-to-month decline, September sales are 11 percent higher than they were one year ago.

“Despite occasional month-to-month setbacks, we’re experiencing a genuine recovery,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. “More people are attempting to buy homes than are able to qualify for mortgages, and recent price increases are not deterring buyer interest.”

He attributed inventory shortages, rather than market weaknesses, to the monthly decline.

In addition, an increase in home builder confidence also suggests that many consumers are building new homes, rather than purchasing existing properties. There are pros and cons to both methods of homeownership, and consumers who are weighing their options can compare prices between the two by speaking with both a mortgage consultant and contractor.