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National Real Estate News: Housing Shortages Hinder Existing-Home Sales

Here are some national updates for home sales in August (Realtor Magazine):

For the fourth time in five months, existing-home sales dropped as a shortage of homes for sale continues to impact the housing market according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ latest housing report, released Wednesday.Existing-home sales did see an increase in the Northeast and Midwest in August but were outpaced by sales declines in the South and West, according to NAR’s report.

The South saw a decline in closings last month that was largely attributed to the after-effects from Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area. Home sales likely will be impacted for the rest of the year in Houston and in the most severely affected areas in Florida after Hurricane Irma.

The following are some key housing indicators from NAR’s latest report:

  • Home prices: The median existing-home price for all housing types in August was $253,500, up 5.6 percent from a year ago.

  • Inventory: Total housing inventory at the end of August dropped 2.1 percent to 1.88 million existing homes available for sale, and is now 6.5 percent lower than a year ago. Unsold inventory is at a 4.2-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 4.5 months a year ago.

  • Days on the market: Fifty-one percent of homes sold in August were on the market for less than a month. Properties typically stayed on the market for 30 days in August, down from 36 days a year ago.

  • All-cash sales: All-cash transactions comprised 20 percent of transactions in August, down from 22 percent a year ago. Individual investors account for the biggest bulk of cash sales. Investors purchased 15 percent of homes in August, up from 12 percent a year ago.

  • Distressed sales: Foreclosures and short sales accounted for 4 percent of sales in August, slipping from 5 percent a year ago. Broken out, 3 percent of sales in August were foreclosures, and 1 percent were short sales

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