US Home Sales Fell for 9th Straight Month in October

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), sales of previously occupied US homes declined 5.9% in October, the ninth monthly drop in a row and the lowest pre-pandemic sales pace in over 10 years. They fell 28.4% from October last year to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.43M.

US Home Sales Fell for 9th Straight Month in October
Image credit: Associated Press

Facts

  • According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), sales of previously occupied US homes declined 5.9% in October, the ninth monthly drop in a row and the lowest pre-pandemic sales pace in over 10 years. They fell 28.4% from October last year to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.43M.
  • One reported reason for the decline is lower inventory, with the number of houses on the market dropping 0.8% between September and October to roughly 1.22M. Meanwhile, high mortgage rates have discouraged homeowners locked in at lower rates from selling their homes.
  • In contrast to this slowdown, house prices continue to climb — although at a slower rate than in early 2022 — with the median home price rising 6.6% from last October to $379.1k.
  • First-time buyers have reportedly struggled with the rising prices; compared to their usual stake of 40%, they made up only 28% of purchases last month, down from 29% a year earlier.
  • Houses spent an average of 21 days on the market in October before being sold. This is up from 19 days in September, though still much lower than the typical 30 or more days before the pandemic.
  • While home prices nationally are still 40% higher than October 2019, NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said that half the country can expect to see a year-over-year decline in the coming months.

Sources: New York Post, Associated Press, and CNN.

Narratives

  • Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Seeking Alpha. With no way to predict the Fed's last-minute actions, Americans who bought a home in the last couple of years could very well get crushed by this housing market. If unemployment rises, the Fed's dangerous balancing act will topple over, and both buyers and sellers will be left out of a market that has seemingly only taken from the poor and given to the rich.
  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by FOX News. With the housing crisis admittedly playing a major role in dragging us into a recession, it will also play a role in pulling us out. Loan rates have likely peaked despite predictions of more Fed interest rates, which will only decline along with home loans, making it easier for Americans to get back to normal in the near future.