The housing market came back strong in September, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Its monthly report on existing home sales marked the year-over-year gain as 8.8% with the seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.55 million existing homes sold.
“September home sales bounced back solidly after slowing in August,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “[This is] is the second highest pace since February 2007. While current price growth around 6 percent 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.”
Yun is optimistic despite September inventory shortages, which decreased 2.6 percent to 2.21 million existing homes available. “Despite 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 said.
Recently, NAR President Chris Polychron testified in support of the U.S. House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance to pass the “Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act of 2015.” According to Polychron, the bill will help to expand homeownership opportunities and includes changes to current housing policies that limit flexible and affordable financing needed by many first-time buyers. Realtors are hoping the new policy will help sustain the housing market’s upward climb into 2016.
The monthly NAR report also showed that single-family home sales are up 9.6 percent from a year ago at 4.93 million with a median home price of $223,500.
September’s housing rebound helped boost all regional existing home sales. The Northern region rose 8.6 percent to 760,000, while the South climbed 3.8 percent to an annual rate of 2.21 million in September.
September’s housing rebound means existing home sales have now increased year-over-year for 12 consecutive months.