U.S. existing home sales rise in November for second consecutive month

CHICAGO, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) — U.S. total existing-home sales increased 1.9 percent from October to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.32 million in November this year, marking two consecutive months of increases, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said on Wednesday.

However, on a yearly basis, the sales dropped 7.0 percent from 5.72 million in November 2017.

Total existing-home sales include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops that are completed transactions.

The median existing-home price for all housing types in November was 257,700 U.S. dollars, up 4.2 percent from 247,200 dollars in November 2017. November’s price increase marks the 81st straight month of year-over-year gains.

Total housing inventory at the end of November decreased from 1.85 million in October to 1.74 million existing homes available for sale, but increased from 1.67 million a year ago. Unsold inventory is at a 3.9-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 4.3 months in October 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.

Three of four major U.S. regions saw gains in sales activity in November.

November existing-home sales in the Northeast increased 7.2 percent to an annual rate of 740,000, 2.6 percent below a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was 291,400 dollars, up 6.5 percent from November 2017.

Existing-home sales in the Midwest rose 5.5 percent from last month to an annual rate of 1.34 million in November, down 4.3 percent from a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was 199,100 dollars, up 2.6 percent from last year.

Existing-home sales in the South rose 2.3 percent to an annual rate of 2.20 million in November, down 5.6 percent from last year. The median price in the South was 223,600 dollars, up 3.2 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West declined 6.3 percent to an annual rate of 1.04 million in November, 15.4 percent below a year ago. The median price in the West was 380,600 dollars, up 1.8 percent from November 2017.

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said two consecutive months of increases was 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.”

NAR is America’s largest trade association, representing over 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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