John Corten

National Numbers: Home Prices Up, Sales Down

The September numbers are in from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and it’s sort of a good news/bad news/good news situation. Nationally, existing home sales dropped 1.7% from August, illustrating the low, low inventory that we have all been seeing for a while now. But even with this drop home sales are up 11% from September 2011, so this is a fluctuation that doesn’t take away from all the progress made in the last year much.

Meanwhile, the national median home price is up 11.3% from one year ago and last time we saw seven consecutive monthly year-over-year increases was way back in 2005-2006.

NAR chief economist and market guru Lawrence Yun sounds optimistic:

“Despite occasional month-to-month setbacks, we’re experiencing a genuine recovery. More people are attempting to buy homes than are able to qualify for mortgages, and recent price increases are not deterring buyer interest.┬áRather, inventory shortages are limiting sales, notably in parts of the West.”

Those of us in the West know this all too well. In the last week I’ve had buyers bid on properties that got 40 offers and 35 offers. It’s becoming good news when you’re only up against a single-digit number of competing offers. But this is the new normal for now. It’s likely going to take some time for inventory to pick up considerably. Things are still heading in the right direction, though.


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