Existing-home sales slow in Oct. with 3.4% drop

November 24, 2015

WASHINGTON (11/24/15)--While the overall pace of existing-home sales remains elevated, sales took a step back on a monthly basis in October, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Annualized seasonally adjusted existing-home sales fell to 5.36 million for the month, a 3.4% drop from September’s revised total--though still 3.9% higher year-over-year ( Nov. 23).

Single-family sales slipped 3.7% in October, but came in 4.6% higher annually, while condo and co-op sales declined 1.6% on both a monthly and yearly basis.

“While the year-over-year numbers for the housing market are still quite good, the recent slowdown is somewhat more concerning for policymakers,” said Andres Carbacho-Burgos, Moody’s analyst ( “The current slowdown in the housing market will give pause to the Federal Reserve members who wish to raise short-term rates next month. More important, it may also persuade bank loan officers that they should not follow the Fed’s lead by tightening mortgage lending conditions.”

Three out of four census regions posted declines in October, with the West recording the biggest drop at 8.7%. Sales fell 0.8% in the Midwest, 3.2% in the South, and remained flat in the Northeast.

Additional numbers from the report:

  • Total inventory of existing homes came in at 2.14 million, a 2.3% drop, which kept the market from loosening despite the slowdown in sales, according to Moody’s;
  • The median single-family home price came in at $221,200 for the month, a slight monthly decline, but still 6.3% higher compared with October 2014 levels; and
  • The median condo/co-op home sales price dropped to $207,100, which is up 1.6% annually.