November Existing Home Sales Rose 2.7% YOY
Washington, DC, December 19, 2019-Total existing-home sales for November decreased 1.7% from October to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.35 million in November, according to the National Association of Realtors. However, sales are up 2.7% from a year ago (5.21 million in November 2018).
Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said the decline in sales for November is not a cause for worry. “Sales will be choppy when inventory levels are low, but the economy is otherwise performing very well with more than two million job gains in the past year,” said Yun.
The median existing-home price for all housing types in October was $271,300, up 5.4% from November 2018 ($257,400), as prices rose in all regions. November’s price increase marks 93 straight months of year-over-year gains.
Total housing inventory at the end of November totaled 1.64 million units, down approximately 7.3% from October and 5.7% from one year ago (1.74 million). Unsold inventory sits at a 3.7-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 3.9 months in October and from the 4.0-month figure recorded in November 2018. Unsold inventory totals have declined for five consecutive months, constraining home sales.
Compared to one year ago, fewer homes were sold below $250,000; with a 16% decline for homes priced below $100,000 and a 4% reduction for homes priced from $100,000 to below $250,000.
“The new home construction seems to be coming to the market, but we are still not seeing the amount of construction needed to solve the housing shortage,” Yun said. “It is time for builders to be innovative and creative, possibly incorporating more factory-made modules to make houses affordable rather than building homes all on-site.”
Properties typically remained on the market for 38 days in November, seasonally up from 36 days in October, but down from the 42 days in November 2018. Forty-five percent of homes sold in November 2019 were on the market for less than a month.
First-time buyers were responsible for 32% of sales in November, essentially hovering at the 31% seen in October and 33% in November 2018. NAR’s 2019 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers-released in late 2019-revealed that the annual share of first-time buyers was 33%.