Existing-Home Sales Declined 7.7% in November

Washington, DC, December 21, 2022-Total existing-home sales waned 7.7% from October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.09 million in November, according to the National Association of Realtors. Year-over-year, sales dwindled by 35.4% (down from 6.33 million in November 2021).

"In essence, the residential real estate market was frozen in November, resembling the sales activity seen during the Covid-19 economic lockdowns in 2020," said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. "The principal factor was the rapid increase in mortgage rates, which hurt housing affordability and reduced incentives for homeowners to list their homes. Plus, available housing inventory remains near historic lows."

Total housing inventory registered at the end of November was 1.14 million units, which was down 6.6% from October, but up 2.7% from one year ago (1.11 million). Unsold inventory sits at a 3.3-month supply at the current sales pace, which was identical to October, but up from 2.1 months in November 2021.

The median existing-home price for all housing types in November was $370,700, an increase of 3.5% from November 2021 ($358,200), as prices rose in all regions. This marks 129 consecutive months of year-over-year increases, the longest-running streak on record.

Properties typically remained on the market for 24 days in November, up from 21 days in October and 18 days in November 2021. Sixty-one percent of homes sold in November 2022 were on the market for less than a month.

First-time buyers were responsible for 28% of sales in November, which was unchanged from October, but up from 26% in November 2021. NAR's 2022 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers found that the annual share of first-time buyers was 26%, the lowest since NAR began tracking the data.

"U.S. existing-home sales slid in November for a tenth straight month, extending a record streak of declines as high mortgage rates and home prices psuhed many buyers out of the market," says the Wall Street Journal. 

"Sales of previously owned homes declined 7.7% in November from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.09 million, the weakest rate since May 2020, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday. November sales fell 35.4% from a year earlier. The streak of declines is the longest on record in data going back to 1999, NAR said.

"Existing-home sales have dropped about 37% from their recent peak in January. Mortgage rates surged to above 7% in early November from 3.1% at the end of 2021. That boosted expected mortgage payments for many buyers by hundreds of dollars a month, driving many shoppers out of the market.

"This year’s sharp housing-market slowdown marks a major way the Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest-rate increases are rippling through the economy. The central bank raised rates seven times this year, including in November and last week, in an effort to combat high inflation by slowing spending, hiring and investment."

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