Housing Market: Two Steps Forward, One Back

US existing-homes sales (EHS) rose 1.9% in November from October to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.32M units. However sales are down 7.0 percent versus last November’s 5.72M pace.

Home prices were up, as the median home transaction rose 4.2% to $257,700 versus November 2017. This marks the 81st consecutive month of year-over-year gains in housing prices.

Market inventory was a mixed bag. There were 1.74M homes available in November, which was down from October (1.85M) but up versus last November (1.67M). The 3.9-month supply of housing inventory is a far cry from the 6-month standard for a “healthy housing market,” though this is a year-over-year improvement from November 2017’s 3.5-month supply.

NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun summarized the positive signs in this mixed 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. Inventory is plentiful on the upper-end, but a mismatch between supply and demand exists at affordable price points. Therefore, facilitating real estate development of affordable housing units in designated Opportunity Zones can provide better housing access in addition to boosting the local economy.”

Homes are staying on the market longer — about 42 days in November, up from 36 days in October and 40 days a year ago.

First-time buyers were responsible for 33% of home sales in November, which was both a month-over-month and year-over-year increase.

Read the full story here:
Existing-Home Sales Increase for Second Consecutive Month | www.nar.realtor

Author: Dave Eckstein

Dave Eckstein is a partner in the firm ESA & Company. You can follow Dave on Twitter @DaveEckstein.

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