Existing home sales up in the US for second month in a row

Existing home sales in the United States increased by 1.9% in November, the second month in a row of rises, according to the latest index report.

Three of four major US regions saw gains in sales activity last month, the data from the National Association of Realtors shows but they are still down 7% compared with November 2017.

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said that two consecutive months of increases is a welcomed sign for the market. ‘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. Rising inventory is clearly taming home price appreciation,’ he added.

The index also shows that the median existing home price for all housing types in November was $257,700, up 4.2% from November 2017 and values have now increased year on year for 81 months in a row.

Yun pointed out that a marked shift is occurring in the West region, with much lower sales and very soft price growth and it is also the West region where consumers have expressed the weakest sentiment about home buying, largely due to lack of affordable housing inventory.

Properties typically stayed on the market for 42 days in November, up from 36 days in October and 40 days a year ago but 43% of homes sold in November were on the market for less than a month.

A breakdown of the figures shows that in November existing home sales in the Northeast increased 7.2% but are 2.6% below a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $291,400, which is up 6.5% from November 2017.

In the Midwest, existing home sales rose 5.5% but are down 4.3% from a year ago while the median price in the Midwest was $199,100, up 2.6% from last year.

Existing home sales in the South grew 2.3% but are still down 5.6% from last year. The median price in the South was $223,600, up 3.2% from a year ago.

In the West existing home sales fell by 6.3% and are a substantial 15.4% below a year ago. The median price in the West was $380,600 up 1.8% from November 2017.

Existing home sales in the United States increased by 1.9% in November, the second month in a row of rises, according to the latest index report.

Three of four major US regions saw gains in sales activity last month, the data from the National Association of Realtors shows but they are still down 7% compared with November 2017.

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said that two consecutive months of increases is a welcomed sign for the market. ‘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. Rising inventory is clearly taming home price appreciation,’ he added.

The index also shows that the median existing home price for all housing types in November was $257,700, up 4.2% from November 2017 and values have now increased year on year for 81 months in a row.

Yun pointed out that a marked shift is occurring in the West region, with much lower sales and very soft price growth and it is also the West region where consumers have expressed the weakest sentiment about home buying, largely due to lack of affordable housing inventory.

Properties typically stayed on the market for 42 days in November, up from 36 days in October and 40 days a year ago but 43% of homes sold in November were on the market for less than a month.

A breakdown of the figures shows that in November existing home sales in the Northeast increased 7.2% but are 2.6% below a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $291,400, which is up 6.5% from November 2017.

In the Midwest, existing home sales rose 5.5% but are down 4.3% from a year ago while the median price in the Midwest was $199,100, up 2.6% from last year.

Existing home sales in the South grew 2.3% but are still down 5.6% from last year. The median price in the South was $223,600, up 3.2% from a year ago.

In the West existing home sales fell by 6.3% and are a substantial 15.4% below a year ago. The median price in the West was $380,600 up 1.8% from November 2017.