Housing sales: supply, demand, the cost of money

Key takeaways

  • Existing-home sales in September fell 2 percent from August, according to the National Association of Realtors. It’s a 15.4 percent decline from one year ago.
  • The nationwide median sale price is now $394,300, down from August but up 2.8 percent year-over-year.
  • Inventory in August stood at a 3.4-month supply, a level considered a seller’s market.

The sharp rise in mortgage rates has kept many homeowners from selling, which keeps existing homes off the market. Those who locked in rates at 3 percent several years ago aren’t keen on moving while rates are so high. “Rate lock is still in effect, with current mortgage rates sitting above 7 percent and the majority of outstanding mortgages sitting under 4 percent,” says Zillow senior economist Nicole Bachaud.