August Home Sales Decrease; Prices Rise

Sluggishness in the general economy is impacting housing sales. The REAL Trends Housing Market Report for August 2014 shows that housing sales decreased 5.2 percent from the same month a year ago. The annual rate of new and existing home sales for August 2014 was 6.002 million units down from a rate of 6.334 million in August 2013. Housing prices rose an average of 4.1 percent from August 2013, a slight decrease from the previous month. Price increases have now settled to a mid-single digit growth rate for the past four months.

“The August housing data show that sluggishness in the general economy with lower than expected job growth, stagnant household income and tight credit conditions are taking the expected toll on housing sales,” said Steve Murray, editor of the REAL Trends Housing Market Report.

Housing unit sales for August 2014 decreased 1.4 percent in the South, the best performance in all regions. Midwest unit sales were off 4.4 percent, the Western region saw sales decrease 5.6 percent, and the Northeast saw sales units decrease by 13.8 percent.

The average price of homes sold in August 2014 in the Midwest region increased by 6.6 percent the best result in the nation. The Western region saw average prices increase 5.8 percent, average prices in the South were up 5.3 percent and the Northeast had an average price increase of 2.4 percent. 

“Rising prices have driven many investors from the market, and while foreign purchases remain strong, first-time home buyers are still absent from the market. In fact, in many jurisdictions the percent of first-time homebuyers as a percent of all buyers remains significantly below the rate for prior years. Unless and until this is remedied, housing sales will likely remain flat to negative,” said Murray.   


REAL Trends August/ July Housing Market Report

(Versus same month a year ago)

  August 2014
August 2014
July 2014
July 2014
  Closed Sales
Average Price
Closed Sales  Average Price
 National
 -5.2%  +4.1%  +1.1%  +4.6%
 Regional Report
 Northeast  -13.8%  +2.4%  +2.6%  +3.9%
 South  -1.4%  +5.3%  +4.4%  +4.2%
 Midwest  -4.4%  +6.6%  +0.1%  +2.9%
 West  -5.6%  +5.8%  -4.1%  +8.3%

                           

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