(CNBC) -- September sales of existing homes fell short of expectations, following two months of gains. The problem is low supply combined with high prices; prices jumped nearly 6% annually, according to the National Association of Realtors, the biggest gain since January 2018.
Prices are being juiced in part by lower mortgage rates. Lower rates help with affordability, but they also give buyers more purchasing power, which in turn causes prices to rise.
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“My bottom line is that the housing market has certainly responded favorably to lower mortgage rates, but the price points and geographies are mixed,” noted Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group. “Higher priced homes, particularly in high tax states are sitting longer, while those selling below $500,000 in the South and parts of the West are moving quicker.”