A surge of first-time homebuyers propelled the US housing market to a strong September.
Last month, Existing-Home Sales (EHS) rose 3.2% and 0.6% respectively, versus last month and September 2015. First-time homebuyers constituted 34% of transactions; the last time that happened was 2012.
The seasonally-adjusted pace (SAAR) of the housing market finished at 5.47M units. Median home prices rose year-over-year for the 55th straight month, surpassing $234K. This represents a 5.6% increase over September 2015.
Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR saw mixed signs for the housing market, even with September breaking a two-month slump. His biggest concerns were inventory shortfalls, limited construction, and prices remaining high for many potential buyers.
“The home search over the past several months for a lot of prospective buyers, and especially for first-time buyers, took longer than usual because of the competition for the minimal amount of homes for sale. Inventory has been extremely tight all year and is unlikely to improve now that the seasonal decline in listings is about to kick in. Unfortunately, there won’t be much relief from new home construction, which continues to be grossly inadequate in relation to demand.”
Some quick facts about the US Housing Market for September 2016:
- SAAR: 5.47M units (+0.6% year-over-year)
- Median Pricing: $234,200 (+5.6% year-over-year)
- 55th straight month of year-over-year price advance
- Unsold Inventory: 4.5 months (Down 6.8% from September 2015, 16 straight months)
- 44% of EHS transactions were on the market <1 month
- First-time buyers: 34% (Up 5 pts. over Sept 2015’s 29%)
For more information on the US Housing Marketing visit Realtor.org’s Market Research section.
Dave Eckstein is a Partner in the firm ESA & Company. He specializes in highly profitable market share growth for local businesses and gets a kick out of demonstrating a declining cost of customer acquisition. He plays baseball, but isn't that Dave Eckstein.