The number of existing-home sales went down a bit from August to September, but inventory continues to tighten and the national median price has increased for the seventh month in a row, according to the National Association of Realtors.
The total sales of single-family homes, townhouses, and condominiums decreased by 1.7 percent to 4.75 million in September from 4.83 million in August. The increase from September 2011 to September this year was 11 percent. Foreclosures and short sales accounted for 24 percent of the sales in September.
"Despite occasional month-to-month setbacks, we're experiencing a genuine recovery," said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. "More people are attempting to buy homes than are able to qualify for mortgages, and recent price increases are not deterring buyer interest. Rather, inventory shortages are limiting sales, notably in parts of the West."
The total number of houses available for sale fell 3.3 percent from August to September and is 20 percent lower than September 2011.
"The shrinkage in housing supply is supporting ongoing price growth, a pattern that could accelerate unless home builders robustly ramp up production," Yun said.
Industry representatives predict 2013 to bring a recovery in the housing market.
"Now that the summer buying season is behind us, we can clearly see that the market made a significant rebound, and 2012 is definitely the year of the housing recovery," said Margaret Kelly, CEO of RE/MAX, LLC. "Although we still face some serious obstacles in tight lending and shrinking inventory, we believe that the housing market will continue to recover into 2013."
The inventory of pre-owned homes on the market in North Texas has dropped almost 40 percent in the last two years, according to The Dallas Morning News. In some of those areas, the supply is at the lowest level in more than a decade.
Meanwhile, in the Portland area the number of homes on the market has gone down 26 percent over the past year, according to The Oregonian.
"You don't get to call your folks or think on it overnight," said Nick Krautter of Keller Williams Realty, told The Oregonian. "You have to move now. There's definitely a sense of urgency that's back in the market."