Existing Home Sales Fell 1.2% in January

Washington, DC, February 21, 2019-Total existing-home sales in January decreased 1.2% from December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.94 million in January, according to the National Association of Realtor. 

Sales are now down 8.5% from a year ago (5.40 million in January 2018).

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, says last month’s home sales of 4.94 million were the lowest since November 2015, but that he does not expect the numbers to decline further going forward. “Existing home sales in January were weak compared to historical norms; however, they are likely to have reached a cyclical low. Moderating home prices combined with gains in household income will boost housing affordability, bringing more buyers to the market in the coming months.”

The median existing-home price for all housing types in January was $247,500, up 2.8% from January 2018 ($240,800). January’s price increase marks the 83rd straight month of year-over-year gains.

Yun notes that this median home price growth is the slowest since February 2012 and is cautions that the figures do not yet tell the full story for the month of January. “Lower mortgage rates from December 2018 had little impact on January sales, however, the lower rates will inevitably lead to more home sales.”