According to the National Association of Realtors, U.S. sales of previously occupied homes -- aka, "'new' to me" -- dropped 1.7% in September, coming in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.75 million.
Translated into English, that means that if September’s rate held, Americans would buy and sell 4.75 million existing houses over the course of a full year.
On the one hand, that sounds worrisome, as it suggests the housing industry's comeback may not be as robust as many experts thought it was, when it was announced earlier this month that new home construction hit its strongest level in four years. On the other hand, August did see the highest level of homebuying in America in more than two years, so the small pullback such as NAR is reporting for September really isn't all that bad.
On the same other hand, while September's number was a bit less robust than what we saw in August, it was 11% higher than the pace recorded in September 2011.
The NAR also reported today that the national median existing-home price for all housing types was $183,900 in September, up 11.3% from a year ago.
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