The volume of existing home sales declined by 4.1% from September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.79 million in October, according to new data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Year-over-year, sales plummeted by 14.6% from 4.44 million in October 2022.
Total housing inventory at the end of October was 1.15 million units, up 1.8% from September but down 5.7% from the 1.22 million available one year ago. Unsold inventory sits at a 3.6-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 3.4 months in September and 3.3 months in October 2022.
“Prospective home buyers experienced another difficult month due to the persistent lack of housing inventory and the highest mortgage rates in a generation,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Multiple offers, however, are still occurring, especially on starter and mid-priced homes, even as price concessions are happening in the upper end of the market.”
NAR reported the median existing-home price for all housing types in October was $391,800, a 3.4% uptick from the $378,000 price recorded in October 2022. Last month’s price was a new high for the month of October.
First-time buyers were responsible for 28% of sales in October, up from 27% in September and identical to October 2022’s share. All-cash sales accounted for 29% of transactions in October, unchanged from September and up from 26% in October 2022. Distressed sales represented 2% of sales in October, virtually unchanged from last month and the previous year.