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Existing Home Sales Decline 9th Month, Down Another 5.9 Percent

Existing home sales fell another 5.9 percent in October. They have declined every month this year except for January.
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Existing home sales from the National Association of Realtors via St. Louis Fed

Existing home sales from the National Association of Realtors via St. Louis Fed

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports Existing-Home Sales Slumped 5.9% in October

Existing Home Sales Key Points 

  • Existing-home sales faded for the ninth month in a row to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.43 million. Sales fell 5.9% from September and 28.4% from one year ago.
  • Total housing inventory registered at the end of October was 1.22 million units, which was down 0.8% from both September and one year ago (1.23 million). Unsold inventory sits at a 3.3-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 3.1 months in September and 2.4 months in October 2021.
  • The median existing-home price for all housing types in October was $379,100, a gain of 6.6% from October 2021 ($355,700), as prices rose in all regions. This marks 128 consecutive months of year-over-year increases, the longest-running streak on record.
  • Properties typically remained on the market for 21 days in October, up from 19 days in September and 18 days in October 2021. Sixty-four percent of homes sold in October 2022 were on the market for less than a month.
  • "In October, 24% of homes received over the asking price. Conversely, homes sitting on the market for more than 120 days saw prices reduced by an average of 15.8%," according to Lawrence Yun, the NAR chief economist.
  • First-time buyers were responsible for 28% of sales in October, down from 29% in both September 2022 and October 2021. NAR's 2022 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers – released earlier this month – found that the annual share of first-time buyers was 26%, the lowest since NAR began tracking the data.

Existing-Home Sales Month-Over-Month

Existing-Home Sales Percent 2022-10

The last month-over-month increase in existing home sales was January. For nine months sales have declined.

Existing-Home Sales Supply

Existing-Home Sales Supply 2022-10

Supply of homes for sales declined in October but at the current rate of sales, the month's supply rose. 

Month's supply at the current rate of sales has risen 8 of the last nine months and the other was flat.

Existing Home Sales Crash

  • Existing home sales are down 28.4% from one year ago.
  • Existing home sales are down 31.7% since January.

That's a crash. And never have we seen such declines other than in recessions. 

Buyers and Sellers Strike 

The annual share of first-time buyers was 26%, the lowest in NAR tracking history. 

Buyers are on strike because they cannot afford the combination of price and mortgage rates. 

Sellers are also on strike. They hope to get prices they could have received a year ago.

NAR Cheerleading

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30-year mortgage chart from Mortgage News Daily, annotations by Mish.

30-year mortgage chart from Mortgage News Daily, annotations by Mish.

NAR cheerleader Lawrence Yun made this amusing statement: "Mortgage rates have come down since peaking in mid-November, so home sales may be close to reaching the bottom in the current housing cycle," Yun said.

Buyers went on strike in February with the average 30-year mortgage rate at 3.7 percent. The average rate is now 6.65 percent down from a peak 7.37 percent. 

Is 6.65 percent really going to lead to a buyer's splurge heading into if not in recession?

Housing Starts and Permits Swing to More New Lows For This Cycle

Seasonally-adjusted, annualized (SAAR) housing starts from commerce department, chart by Mish

Seasonally-adjusted, annualized (SAAR) housing starts from commerce department, chart by Mish

Meanwhile, please note Housing Starts and Permits Swing to More New Lows For This Cycle

And it is single family units, not apartments that are leading the decline. Homes are not affordable. 

US Treasury Yield Curve Is One of the Most Inverted in History

Also note the US Treasury Yield Curve Is One of the Most Inverted in History

This is a strong recession signal.

The Fed actively seeks to pop the housing bubble that it created. Given policy acts with a lag, the Fed is likely to overshoot with a policy error in the opposite direction.

Is this anyway to run a country or a business?

This post originated at MishTalk.Com.

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