According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), existing home sales in October 2019 rose +1.9% from September…overall sales increased by +4.6% annually to 5.46M homes.

The South region of the country was the only region to see sales increase by +4.4%. The Northeast and Midwest saw sales decrease by -1.4% and -1.6% respectively. Home sales in the West dropped slightly by -0.9% from September but prices increased a whopping +7.8%.

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The median price of a home increased +6.2% annually to $270,900 and inventory decreased -2.7% from September and -4.3% from October 2018.

Characteristics of Sellers

  • 44% of sellers traded up to a larger home
  • Sellers enjoyed a median home equity gain of $60,000.
  • Seller tenure reached 10 years.
  • 89% of sellers used an agent/broker to sell their home and to buy their next new homes.
  • 34% of sellers offered incentives to attract buyers.
  • The final sale price was a median of 99% of their final list price.
  • 75% of sellers contacted only one agent to sell/buy their home.

Characteristics of Buyers

  • 33% were first-time buyers
  • The average age of buyers was 47 years old.
  • Buyer median income was $93,800.
  • 12% of buyers bought multi-generational homes
  • 20% of buyers were Veterans and 3% were active-duty service members.
  • 74% of buyers were renters at the time of their purchase.
  • 26% of buyers were living with someone at the time of their purchase and were not paying for housing costs.
  • 78% believed homeownership was a good financial decision.
  • 75% of buyers believe that homeownership is part of the American Dream.
  • 81% of potential buyers want to own a home while 51% believe that their current financial situation would make homeownership difficult.

Characteristics of Homes Purchased

  • The median price was $257,000.
  • 33% of buyers of newly constructed homes wanted to avoid renovations and problems.
  • The average home purchased had 1,850 square feet, three bedrooms and two bathrooms and was built in 1990 forward.
  • Homes were purchased for 98% of the asking price.

Home Search Process

  • 44% of potential buyers searched online first.
  • 16% of potential buyers contacted an agent/broker first.
  • Of those searching online, 87% found photos to be most helpful; 85% found detailed property information most helpful.

Financing the Purchase

  • 86% of buyers financed their home purchase.
  • Those who financed their purchase did so at 88% of the purchase price.
  • First-time buyers financed 94% of their purchase price.
  • Repeat buyers financed 84% of their purchase price.
  • 60% of buyers used savings to pay for their down payment.
  • 38% of buyers used the proceeds from the sale of their primary residence to pay for their down payment.

Thanks to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) for source data.

Also read: Bidding Wars Are Down But Not Out, Possible Consequences for Real Estate ID Recession Hits – Part I, Low Interest Rates Bolster August Existing Home Sales and Refinancings