WASHINGTON (November 18, 2022) – Existing-home sales retreated for the ninth straight month in October, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. All four major U.S. regions registered month-over-month and year-over-year declines.
Total existing-home sales,1https://www.nar.realtor/existing-home-sales – completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – decreased 5.9% from September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.43 million in October. Year-over-year, sales dropped by 28.4% (down from 6.19 million in October 2021).
"More potential homebuyers were squeezed out from qualifying for a mortgage in October as mortgage rates climbed higher," said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. "The impact is greater in expensive areas of the country and in markets that witnessed significant home price gains in recent years."
Total housing inventory2 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.
"Inventory levels are still tight, which is why some homes for sale are still receiving multiple offers," Yun added. "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%."
The median existing-home price3 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.
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 month4 – found that the annual share of first-time buyers was 26%, the lowest since NAR began tracking the data.
All-cash sales accounted for 26% of transactions in October, up from 22% in September and 24% in October 2021.
Individual investors or second-home buyers, who make up many cash sales, purchased 16% of homes in October, up from 15% in September, but down from 17% in October 2021.
Distressed sales5 – foreclosures and short sales – represented 1% of sales in October, down from 2% in September and identical to October 2021.
According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate(link is external) for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage was 6.90% in October, up from 6.11% in September. The average commitment rate across all of 2021 was 2.96%.
"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.