WASHINGTON (10/22/14)--Existing-home sales outperformed analyst expectations in September, as sales climbed 2.4% from August to 5.17 million annualized units, according to the National Association of Realtors (Economy.com Oct. 21).
Three out of the four major regions in the United States posted sales gains, however the Midwest experienced a substantial decline. Nationwide, existing-home sales fell 1.7% behind their year-ago levels.
"Though the September data show that the housing market is rebounding from the lackluster numbers in the first half of this year, it is still far from a faster recovery," said Andres Carbacho-Burgos, Moody's analyst (Economy.com).
The West region recorded the largest gain in sales at 7.1% for the month, with the South just behind it, posting a 5% jump. Sales in the Northeast increased 1.5% in September, but in the Midwest existing-home sales fell by 5.6%.
Moody's analysts believe the aftereffects of the recession, which have suppressed homebuyer confidence, are likely to blame for the Midwest's step back.
Existing single-family home inventories, meanwhile, fell 1.3% for the month but remain 6% higher year-over-year.
The not-seasonally adjusted median house price for the month came in at $209,700, slightly below August's price but 5.6% higher than in September of last year.
All four regions have recorded similar year-over-year home price increases.