Existing Home Sales Fall 1.7 Percent to Hit 12-Month Low

U.S. home resales fell to their lowest in a year in August as Hurricane Harvey depressed activity in Houston and a perennial shortage of properties on the market sidelined buyers.

The National Association of Realtors said on Wednesday existing home sales decreased 1.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.35 million units last month. That was the lowest level since August 2016.

July’s sales pace was unrevised at 5.44 million units.

Economists had forecast sales rising 0.3 percent to a 5.46 million-unit rate.

The NAR said Harvey, which struck Texas in the last week of August had resulted in sales in Houston declining 25 percent on a year-on-year basis. Stripping out Houston, existing home sales would have been unchanged in August.

Home resales in the South tumbled 5.7 percent last month.

Harvey, and a second hurricane, Irma, which slammed Florida early this month could hurt September home resales.

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