Note: November 2018 data below are the most recent released by the National Association of Realtors.
Existing Home Sales
Existing-home sales increased in November, according to the National Association of Realtors®, marking two consecutive months of increases. Three of four major U.S. regions saw gains in sales activity last month.
Total existing-home sales (transactions including single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops) increased 1.9 percent from October to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.32 million in November. Sales are now down 7.0 percent from a year ago (5.72 million in November 2017).
NAR's chief economist, Lawrence Yun says 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.”
The median existing-home price for all housing types in November was $257,700, up 4.2 percent from November 2017 ($247,200). November’s price increase marks the 81st straight month of year-over-year gains.
Total housing inventory at the end of November decreased to 1.74 million, down from 1.85 million existing homes available for sale in October. This represents an increase from 1.67 million a year ago, however.
Unsold inventory is at a 3.9-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 4.3 last month and up from 3.5 months a year ago.
Properties typically stayed on the market for 42 days in November, up from 36 days in October and 40 days a year ago. Forty-three percent of homes sold in November were on the market for less than a month.
Per Freddie Mac data, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage increased to 4.87 percent in November from 4.83 percent in October. The average commitment rate for all of 2017 was 3.99 percent. First-time buyers were responsible for 33 percent of sales in November, up from last month and a year ago (31 percent and 29 percent, respectively).