Updated: Home Sales Drop, Prices Increase

The National Association of Realtors says that existing-home sales declined for the second month in a row in October.

But "constrained inventory means home prices continue to see double-digit year-over-year gains," according to the report.

The monthly existing home sales figure, which covers "completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops," dropped 3.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.12 million in October from 5.29 million in September," according to the association, "but are 6% higher than the 4.83 million-unit level in October 2012."

The report shows recovery, noting that sales have remained above year-ago levels for the past 28 months.

But NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said in a press release statement that the "erosion in buying power is dampening home sales."

He explained that low inventory has slowed sales but pushed up prices "in most of the country," adding that "[m]ore new home construction is needed to help relieve the inventory pressure and moderate price gains."

The report has a bunch of statistics, including:

  • The national median existing-home pricefor all housing types was $199,500 in October, a 12.8% increase from the year-ago month--the 11th consecutive month of double-digit year-over-year increases;
  • Total housing inventory at the end of October declined 1.8% to 2.13 million existing homes available for sale, a five-month supply "at the current sales pace"; the relative supply was 4.9 months in September.
  • The median time on market for all homes in October was 54 days, up from 50 days in September, but below 71 days on the market in October 2012.
  • "The tightest inventory conditions, reported as median age of inventory," the report states, are in Oakland, Calif., at 30 days, and and four markets at 48 days:  San Francisco; San Jose, Calif.; Denver and Stockton-Lodi, Calif.
  • All-cash sales were 31% of transactions in October, down from 33% in September, up from 29% percent a year ago.
  • Existing condominium and co-op sales rose 3.3% to an annual rate of 630,000 units in October, from 610,000 in September--12.5 % above the 560,000-unit level a year ago.
  • The median existing condo price was $199,200 in October, 13.1% above October 2012.
  • Existing-home sales in the NAR's Northeast region declined 2.9% to an annual rate of 670,000 in October, which is still 11.7% higher than October 2012.
  • The median Northeast price in October was $247,300, up 7.4% from a year ago.

More data can be found here.

Meantime, CBRE Group Inc. had a slightly different take on retail this morning.

The commercial real estate services giant forecast a a "slow, steady" 2014 recovery, projecting a decline in the the availabilityrate for neighborhood and community shopping centers to 10.6%, down from 12.3% down from 12.7% at the end of 2012.

The report projects a 9.7% retail availability rate in 2015.

Consumer caution has prevented retailers from expanding rapidly, a CBRE economist noted.

The report projects a low 2014 rate of new construction, but landlords will "achieve rent growth in 2014, averaging 2.5%."

"Availability rates will trend down in the coming quarters, but it will take some time before significant rent increases can be justified," added Ms. Rosenbaum.

CBRE projects rent growth "over the next two years will be led by San Francisco, Denver, Nashville, Austin, Dallas and Charlotte."

The CBRE press release can be found here.

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