US existing home sales dip in September

The number of completed transactions on home sales in the US has fallen 1.9 per cent, with existing home sales index coming in at 5.29m, with prices rising at their slowest pace for five months. The reading follows expectations of 5.30m (revised from 5.37m) and after August's near four-year high of 5.39m (revised from 5.48m).

Analysts had expected a fall of 2.9 per cent to 5.30m.

September's figure is 10.7 per cent about the 4.78m-unit pace seen in September 2012, with sales staying above year-ago levels for the past 27 months.

Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors's (NAR) chief economist, said a decline was expected. “Affordability has fallen to a five-year low as home price increases easily outpaced income growth,” he said. “Expected rising mortgage interest rates will further lower affordability in upcoming months. Next month we may see some delays associated with the government shutdown.”

The national median existing-home price for all housing types, reports NAR, was $199,200 (£123,374) in September - up 11.7 percent from September of last year. This is the 10th consecutive month of double-digit year-over-year rises.