Existing-home sales increased 1.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.4 million units in September from an upwardly revised pace of 5.3 million units in August. Last month's sales activity was 7.8 percent above the 5.01 million unit pace in September 2001.
The NAR attributed the rise to a prolonged slide in mortgage interest rates culminated in rising sales activity.
NAR projects existing-home sales will reach a record of 5.47 million this year, an increase of 3.2 percent from 2001.
Housing inventory levels at the end of September rose 4.9 percent from August to a total of 2.35 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 5.2 month supply at the current sales pace. The national median existing-home price was $159,000 in September, up 7.9 percent from September 2001 when the median price was $147,400.
Regionally, existing homes in the Midwest were selling at an annual rate of 1.22 million units in September, up 8.9 percent from August; the pace also was 8.9 percent above September 2001. The median price in the Midwest was $139,300, up 7.2 percent from September 2001.
The existing-home sales pace in the South rose 2.3 percent in September to an annual rate of 2.18 million units, and was 10.1 percent above September 2001. The median price of an existing home in the South was $148,700, which was 9.5 percent higher than a year ago. Existing-home sales in the Northeast slipped 1.6 percent in September to a pace of 620,000 units; however, the sales rate was 5.1 percent above September 2001. The median existing-home price in the Northeast was $164,000, up 14.7 percent from a year ago. Home resales in the West dropped 3.5 percent in September to an annual rate of 1.37 million units, but were 3 percent above September 2001.
The median existing-home price in the West was $214,300, up 6.8 percent from the same month a year earlier.