Existing home sales jumped 10 percent in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.53 million according to the National Association of Realtors.
While two months of increases in home sales is good sign, the seasonally adjusted rate remains 19.1 percent below the 5.60 million-unit pace in September 2009, when first-time buyers were ramping up in advance of the initial deadline for the tax credit last November.
“A housing recovery is taking place but will be choppy at times depending on the duration and impact of a foreclosure moratorium,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “But the overall direction should be a gradual rising trend in home sales with buyers responding to historically low mortgage interest rates and very favorable affordability conditions.”
The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $171,700 in September, which is 2.4 percent below a year ago. Distressed homes accounted for 35 percent of sales in September compared with 34 percent in August; they were 29 percent in September 2009.
Another survey from NAR shows that first time home buyers purchased 32 percent of homes in September, almost unchanged from 31 percent in August. Investors were at an 18 percent market share in September, down from 21 percent in August; the balance of purchases were by repeat buyers. All-cash sales were at 29 percent in September compared with 28 percent in August.
Single-family home sales increased 10.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.97 million in September from a pace of 3.61 million in August, but are 19.5 percent below the 4.93 million level in September 2009. The median existing single-family home price was $172,600 in September, down 1.9 percent from a year ago.
Existing condominium and co-op sales rose 9.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 560,000 in September from 510,000 in August, but are 16.2 percent lower than the 668,000-unit level one year ago. The median existing condo price5 was $165,400 in September, down 6.2 percent from September 2009.
For more information on the numbers, see here.