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Existing-home sales down in September

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), September existing-home sales fell 8 percent month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million units, compared with a downwardly revised 5.48 million-unit pace in August.

The monthly figures are 19.1 percent below the 6.23 million-unit pace recorded in September 2006.

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $211,700 in September, down 4.2 percent from September 2006 when the median was $220,900.

Lawrence Yun, NAR senior economist, said the decline was due to a variety of factors, notably mortgage availability problems.

“Because there were fewer transactions at the upper end of the market, there is a downward distortion reflected in a lower national median home price,” Yun said. “Home prices continue to trend up in the Northeast and in the condo sector. In other areas not dependent on jumbo loans, such as much of the Midwest, prices are rising.”

Single-family home sales dropped 8.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.38 million in September from a pace of 4.79 million in August, and are 19.8 percent below the 5.46 million-unit pace in September 2006. The median existing single-family home price was $210,200 in September, down 4.9 percent from a year ago.

Existing condominium and co-op sales fell 4.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 660,000 units in September from 690,000 in August, and are 14.7 percent below the 774,000-unit level in September 2006. The median existing condo price was $221,700 in September, up 1.4 percent from a year ago.

Regionally, existing-home sales in the South declined 6 percent in September to an annual pace of 2.05 million, and are 18.7 percent below a year ago. The median price in the South was $174,400, down 5.5 percent from September 2006.

In the Midwest, existing-home sales dropped 7 percent to a rate of 1.19 million in September, and are 16.2 percent below September 2006. The median price in the Midwest was $170,700, up 1.4 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West fell 9.9 percent in September to a level of 910,000, and are 27.8 percent below a year ago. The median price in the West was $308,900, which is 8.8 percent lower than September 2006.

In the Northeast, existing-home sales dropped 10 percent to a pace of 900,000, and are 13.5 percent lower than September 2006. The median price in the Northeast was $261,700, up 0.5 percent from a year ago.


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