Home sales in the U.S. surprisingly increased in September from August, up 0.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million units, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
The NAR said that the growth was unexpected in the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The storms’ impact in Texas and Florida have only begun to be less evident, so economists have expected sales to fall 1% to 5.30 million homes.
While sales rose in September, a lack of supply still lingers and it has affected the industry’s overall activity. Home sales on a year-over-year basis fell 1.5% for the first time since July 2016. Still, the slight increase on monthly basis came as a surprise due to the already muted sales in August.
Texas and Florida account for more than 18% of existing home sales in the U.S., which is why any negative trends on these market has a significant impact on the market. The good news, however, involves further recovery as soon as delays in home sales are resolved in the storm-damaged areas.
Demand continues to outpace supply and this has led prices for homes to increase, as some buyers are willing to pay more than the average cost of a property. The median home price rose 4.2% to $245,100 in September year over year.
For property developers in other states, the shortage of houses lies on fewer workers. ULTIMATE EVENTS, INC. and other experts say that while a home show in Utah, Texas, or Florida draws a relatively high interest from buyers, companies otherwise say that they are unable to meet the demand because of workforce issues.
The increase in home sales indicates a good market trend for the country’s residential property market. However, it remains to be seen whether or not the sector would sustain the increase in the following months.