• Existing Home Sales Fall, Brick-and-Mortar Foot Traffic Rises

    Existing home sales fell in August after two months of increases. (Getty Images)
    Existing home sales fell in August after two months of increases. (Getty Images)

    By Richard Lawson
    CoStar News
    Existing Home Sales Fall
    Existing homes sales declined in August after rising during the previous months.
    The National Association of Realtors reported this week that sales fell 2% while the median sales price increased 14.9% over last year.

    All four regions of the country saw month-to-month declines in sales as well as year over year.
    "Although there was a decline in home purchases, potential buyers are out and about searching, but much more measured about their financial limits, and simply waiting for more inventory,” Lawrence Yun, the association’s chief economist, said in a statement. Inventory of unsold homes sits at 2.6 months, which is roughly the same as in July but down 3% from a year earlier.

    Meanwhile, the association reported that research for its local opportunity index showed the top places for building opportunities are Spartanburg, South Carolina; North Port, Florida; Knoxville, Tennessee; Wilmington, North Carolina; and San Antonio.

    Brick-and-Mortar Foot Traffic Rises

    Pittsburgh led the major metropolitan areas across the United States with the biggest increase this year in foot traffic at retailers and restaurants, according to a firm tracking mobile phone location data. Foot traffic in Pittsburgh increased 294% from Jan. 1 through the end of August, San Francisco-based marketing firm Zenreach reported in an analysis of location data. The San Jose, California-area known as Silicon Valley had the second-highest increase with 164%.

    The average nationwide showed a nearly 36% increase in foot traffic. Traffic, however, started falling off in July and into August. Decreasing customer visits to both restaurants and retailers may continue as concerns over the delta variant and new restrictions grow, said Megan Wintersteen, Zenreach’s vice president for marketing, in a statement.

    In the restaurant category, cafés, bakeries and dessert places have done much better than bars and restaurants. A traffic increase of 97% since the beginning of the year is roughly three times higher than that at bars and restaurants.

    Source: CoStar Group, www.costar.com