A Welcome Sign for Housing: For the second consecutive month, existing-home sales rose, as three of the four major U.S. regions saw an increase in sales last month, the National Association of REALTORS® reported Wednesday.
Total existing-home sales—which are completed transactions for single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops—rose 1.9 percent from October to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.32 million in November. Sales, however, are still down 7 percent from a year ago, NAR reports.
“The market conditions in November were mixed, with good signs of stabilizing home sales compared to recent months, though down significantly from one year ago,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Rising inventory is clearly taming home price appreciation.”
Here’s a closer look at some of the leading indicators in existing-home sales in November:
Home prices: The median existing-home price for all housing types was $257,700 in November, up 4.2 percent from a year ago.
Inventories: Total housing inventory fell to 1.74 million in November, but is higher than the 1.67 million from a year ago. Unsold inventory is at a 3.9-month supply at the current sales pace. “A marked shift is occurring in the West region, with much lower sales and very soft price growth,” says Yun. “It is also the West region where consumers have expressed the weakest sentiment about home buying, largely due to lack of affordable housing inventory.”
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