Existing home sales rose again in August, gaining 1.3% to an annual pace of 5.49 million following a 2.5% gain in July to an annual rate of 5.42 million. With the gain, existing home sales are trending moderately higher, and are now up 2.6% from August 2018. Regionally, sales were mixed, with gains in the Northeast, Midwest and South while sales declined 3.4% in the West.
The inventory of homes available for sale decreased 2.1% in August from July to 1.860 million which represents a 4.1-month supply at the current sales pace. House price gains remain solid but have slowed over the last year. The annual gain in the median price for an existing home rose 4.7% in August to $278,200. NAR chief economist, Lawrence Yun attributed the increase in sales to falling mortgage rates. “As expected, buyers are finding it hard to resist current rates,” he said. “Sales are up, but inventory numbers remain low and are thereby pushing up home prices.”