Now that we are past the most competitive season of home buying, home prices are beginning to drop. It’s a good time for younger buyers and buyers on a budget to start their home search in earnest.
Here are the numbers you need to know.
The National Association of Realtors reports that median price of an existing home dropped for the second month in a row in August, to hit $253,000. That’s down from $263,300 in June.
A small decline in median home prices is typical for the fall. This is partly because of the kinds of homes for sale. Families with kids tend to buy in the spring or summer in order to settle in before school starts. That means that most fall sales are smaller homes for people without children. These types of homes tend to be less expensive.
Despite this decline in price, there was not much movement on the number of home sales over all. Sales of existing homes dipped 1.7% from July to August, mainly due to a lack of available properties. But that decline still marks a small increase of 0.2% over last August’s numbers, according to the National Association of Realtors. Incomes and employment numbers have risen this year, and mortgage rates have dropped. Although these factors raise buyer interest, they can’t change the fact that the number of available properties does not meet buyer demand.
In the Northeast, the number of monthly sales increased by 10.8% in July, and prices dropped to a median of $289,500. That also represents a 1.4% increase over August of last year in the total number of sales.
In the Midwest, the number of monthly sales increased by 2.4%, and annual sales increased by 0.8%. This region also had the lowest median home price at $200,500. Sales in the West fell 4.8% from July and were down 0.8% from August 2016.
The South saw the biggest dip in home sales, partly because of the recent series of devastating hurricanes. Hurricane Harvey, for example, destroyed or damaged around 200,000 homes. The fallout of these storms will continue to impact the region’s home sales for the rest of the year. Monthly sales fell 5.7% and annual sales were down 0.9% with a median price of $220,400.