February 1, 2012
PV Brokers Residential | January Existing Home Sales
Measure of Home Sales
U.S. existing home sales rose at a healthy pace in November, according to the National Association of Realtors. This is an indication that buyers and investors continue to see value at current levels.
In total, existing home sales increased by 4.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.42 million units. This is up from a downwardly revised 4.25 million in October. As compared to November 2010, sales are up by some 12.2 percent.
“Sales reached the highest mark in 10 months and are 34 percent above the cyclical low point in mid; a genuine sustained sales recovery appears to be developing”; said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “We’ve seen healthy gains in contract activity, so it looks like more people are realizing
the great opportunity that exists in today’s market for buyers with long-term plans.”;
The national median home price actually rose on a monthly basis, increasing to $164,200 in November from a downwardly revised $160,800 in October. Compared with the year before, the price however, was down 3.5 percent.
The NAR defines existing homes as all previously-owned single-family homes, townhouses, condominiums, and co-ops. The group “seasonally adjusts” the sales numbers to factor in things like inclement weather, school sessions, winter holidays, etc. to smooth out the trends.
The NAR also describes its sales data based on an annual pace. The monthly figure represents the total number of housing units that would be sold in one year if the current rate were to continue unchanged.
Sales Growth by Region
Regional sales grew all across the country, led by a big jump in the Northeast.
Northeast sales leapt up 9.8 percent to an annual rate of 560,000 homes up from 510,000 the month before. Sales are up 7.7 percent compared with November 2010.
Slightly off this pace were homes in the Midwest, rising 4.3 percent to an annual pace of 960,000, up from 920,000 in October. Home sales are up 15.7 percent from the previous year.
In the South, sales moved up 2.4 percent to an annual level of 1.74 million homes, up from 1.7 million, the month before. On a yearly basis, sales have risen 12.3 percent.
In the West, sales rose 3.6 percent to an annual pace of 1.16 million, from 1.12 million in October. Sales have grown 11.4 percent from November 2010.
Regional Home Prices
Median home prices, the point at which half of all homes are sold for more and half are sold for less, rose in all regions except the West.
In the Northeast, the median price rose to $240,200 up from $222,300 in October, but down 0.1 percent from the previous year.
The median price in the Midwest increased to $133,400 in November, up from $131,700 the month before, but down 4.0 percent from November 2010.
In the South, home prices rose to a median of $143,300 from $140,700, but were down 2.1 percent from last year.
In the West, the median price fell to $195,300 from $199,700 in October. It had also fallen 8.4 percent from November 2010.
Total existing-home inventory fell again in November, by 5.8 percent to 2.58 million homes for sale. At the current sales rate, that represents a 7.0-month supply, down from a 7.7-month supply in October.
Data for December existing home sales, prices, and inventory will be available at the end of January.
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