Existing-home sales slipped 1.8% in August, breaking a four-month string of gains as some investor buyers left the market, the National Association of Realtors said Monday.
Sales dropped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.05 million in August, the National Association of Realtors said Monday. That’s down from 5.14 million in July — which was revised slightly lower than previously estimated — and a 5.33 million rate in August 2013.
Economists had expected a 5.18 million pace, according to the median forecast in Action Economics’ survey.
It has been 10 months since the annualized sales rate was higher on a year over year basis.
“There was a marked decline in all-cash sales from investors” last month, said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the Realtors association. “On the positive side, first-time buyers have a better chance of purchasing a home now that bidding wars are receding and supply constraints have significantly eased in many parts of the country.”
Investors have provided much of the demand in the housing market for the past few years as they snapped up foreclosed properties at distressed prices and turned them into rentals. But their interest has cooled as the supply of foreclosures has receded and prices of other properties have risen.
All-cash sales were 23% of transactions in August, dropping for the second consecutive month to its lowest share since December 2009, the NAR said. Individual investors bought 12% of homes in August, down from 16% in July and 17% in August 2013. Sixty-four percent of investors paid cash in August.