WASHINGTON (10/23/15)--After a step back in August, existing-home sales recorded a solid month of growth in September, climbing 4.7% on a monthly basis and 8.8% on a year-over-year basis (Economy.com Oct. 22).
The gains were driven by single-family home purchases, which climbed 5.3% to 4.93 million during the month. That marks a 9.6% annual increase.
“The housing market has now regained the loss of sales from August, but this means that third-quarter home sales were flat even though they are still up year-over-year,” said Andres Carbacho-Burgos, Moody’s analyst (Economy.com). “Home sales may thus be feeling the slowdown in job growth and the continuing absence of significant mid-tier wage growth despite the long upward trend in job totals.”
Each Census region posted solid gains in home sales as well.
The Northeast experienced the largest increase in September, with home sales jumping 8.6% during the month and 11.8% on an annual basis. In the West sales climbed 6.7% monthly and 9.5% yearly, and in the South sales rose 3.8% in September and 5.7% year-over-year.
The Midwest recorded the smallest step up in growth, 2.3%, but annually sales have been strong, coming in 12% higher than September 2014 levels.
As for home prices, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reported Thursday that its purchase-only home price index climbed 0.3% in August and 5.5% on a year-over-year basis.
“The FHFA Purchase-Only House Price Index decelerated slightly compared with July,” said Thomas McCartin, Moody’s analyst. “Year-over-year growth slowed, but at 5.5%, it is upbeat and in line with other major house price indexes. The index is very near its prerecession peak.”