Greenwich Market Watch: September Statistics

Last month existing-home sales significantly increased in all major regions of the U.S. after a disappointing August.  Across the nation, existing-home sales (all types) increased 4.7% in September month-over-month.  Sales are 8.8% more than last year.

Existing-home sales in the Northeast increased 8.6% from August and are almost 12% more than September of 2014.  The median price in this region is up 4% from last year.  Existing-home sales in the Midwest increased 2.3% from August and are 12% more than September of 2014.  The median price increased 5.4% from last year.  Existing-home sales in the South increased 3.8% from last month and are 5.7% more than September of 2014.  The median price increased 6.2% from last year.  Existing-home sales increased 6.7% since last year and are 9.5% more than September of 2014.  The median price is 8% more than September of 2014.

“Moderation” in home prices coupled with low mortgage rates are the main reasons attributed to these developments.  September’s price increase is the 43rd straight month of year-over-year advancements.

National inventories of homes available for sale decreased 2.6% in September.  Homes-available-for-sale are currently slightly more than 3% below levels of a year ago.  Available inventory is at a 4.8 month supply as compared to 5.1 months in August.  Although inventory is low, it was bolstered by pent-up sellers with increased home equity due to rising prices, listing so as to move up or down size.

First-time buyers are still having challenges buying homes.  First-time buyers’ share of all buyers dropped almost 30% in September following an increase in their highest share of the year being reported in August.   

Properties were on the market for slightly more time (average time of 49 days increased from 47 days) in September.  Over a third of homes sold in September were on the market for less than a month.  Homes having a lessor market value than the amount of their mortgage were on the longest at a median of 135 days in September while foreclosures sold in 57 days; and non-distressed homes took 48 days.    

Distressed sales accounted for 7% in September this compares to 10% a year ago.  Of these sales 6% were foreclosures and the remaining were short sales.   Foreclosures, on average, sold for a discount of 17% below market value in September while short sales were discounted 19%.

All cash buyers of homes climbed to 24% of all sales in September.  This is an increase from 22% in August.  Individual investors who account for most of cash sales, purchased 13% of homes in September.  This is up from 12% in August, but down 14% from a year ago.

Many home buyers still believe that purchasing a home provides an opportunity to build equity, a safe and stable place to live, and the freedom to choose a neighborhood.

Mary Ann Clark is a realtor with Coldwell Banker at 177 West Putnam Avenue in Greenwich. Questions or comments may be emailed to [email protected]

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