WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home sales fell 2.2% in September, as rising home prices and lower inventories have stifled homebuyers.
The National Association of Realtors says that homes sold last month declined at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 5.38 million units, ending two months of sales gains. Existing-home sales are up 3.9% from a year ago, but September’s stumble shows the limits of the boost that declining mortgage rates had been providing.
As average mortgage rates have fallen nearly a whole percentage point in the past year to 3.61% in September, higher prices and a lack of listings have put a ceiling on the growth seen this past summer.
The median sales price climbed 5.9% from a year ago to $272,100, outpacing wage gains as the strongest price appreciation since January 2018.