Existing Home Sales Rebound

Dated: 11/24/2017

Views: 52

Existing-home sales in October were at a pace not seen since summer, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reports. Existing-home sales totaled 5.48 million, a 2.0 percent increase from September “Job growth in most of the country continues to carry on at a robust level and is starting to slowly push up wages, which is in turn giving households added assurance that now is a good time to buy a home,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist of NAR. “While the housing market gained a little more momentum last month, sales are still below year-ago levels because low inventory is limiting choices for prospective buyers and keeping price growth elevated.” 

Inventory is currently at a 3.9-month supply.Existing homes averaged 34 days on market in October, seven days less than one year prior. All told, 47 percent of homes sold in October were on the market for less than one month. “Existing-home sales showed another pick up in momentum from September to October, but compared to a year ago, sales were lower [in October] for the second time since July 2016,” says Danielle Hale, chief economist atrealtor.com®. “Inventories continue to drop from one year ago, creating challenges for buyers across the country. One reason sales were likely able to pick up in September is the increase in new listings available to home shoppers. Realtor.com data show that in spite of declines in overall listings, new listings have increased from a year ago in four of the last five months.”

The metropolitan areas with the fewest days on marketand mostrealtor.comviews in October, according torealtor.com’s Market Hotness Index, were San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.; Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif.; San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif.; San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif.; and Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass. “Listings—especially those in the affordable price range—continue to go under contract typically a week faster than a year ago, and even quicker in many areas where healthy job markets are driving sustained demand for buying,” Yun says. “With the seasonal decline in inventory beginning to occur in most markets, prospective buyers will likely continue to see competitive conditions through the winter.”

The median existing-home price for all types of houses(single-family, condo, co-op and townhome) was $247,000, a 5.5 percent increase from one year prior. The median price for an existing single-family home was $248,300, while the median price for an existing condo was $236,800.

Single-family existing-home sales came in at 4.87 million in October, a 2.1 percent increasefrom 4.77 million in September, but a 1.0 percent decrease from 4.92 million one year prior. Existing-condo and -co-op sales came in at 610,000, a 1.7 percent increase from September, but no different from one year prior.  Twenty percent of existing-home sales in October were all-cash, with 13 percent by individual investors. Four percent were distressed.

All four major regions saw positive activity in October, with existing-home sales rising 4.2 percent to 740,000 in the Northeast, with a median price of $272,800; 2.4 percent to 1.27 million in the West, with a median price of $375,100; 1.9 percent to 2.16 million in the South, with a median price of $214,900; and 0.8 percent to 1.31 million in the Midwest, with a median price of $194,700. “The residual effects on sales from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are still seen in parts of Texas and Florida,” says Yun. “However, sales should completely bounce back to their pre-storm levels by the end of the year, as demand for buying in these areas was very strong before the storms.”

First-time homebuyers comprised 32 percent of existing-home sales in October, an increase from 29 percent in September.  According to NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall, existing-home sales and the health of the market—and homeownership overall—is threatened by tax reform. “Making changes to the mortgage interest deduction, eliminating or capping the deduction for state and local taxes and modifying the rules on capital gains exemptions poses serious harm to millions of homeowners and future buyers,” says Mendenhall. “With first-time buyers struggling to reach the market, Congress should not be creating disincentives to buy and sell a home. Furthermore, adding $1.5 trillion to the national debt will raise future borrowing costs for our children and grandchildren.”

Blog author image

David Sarnowski

David is a seasoned real estate professional, specializing in residential sales, rentals and investment properties. David is a 15 year resident of the New Jersey Gold Coast, with the local knowledge n....

Want to Advertise on this Site?

Latest Blog Posts

Solar Roof Panels A Mainstream Option For Homeowners

Solar Roof Panels: A Mainstream Option For Homeowners? Do rooftop solar panels add value to a home, and are they cost-effective in terms of energy savings? The short answer is yes, say the experts.

Read More

Equity Loan And HELOC Vs Reverse Mortgage Whats The Difference

Equity Loan and HELOC vs. Reverse Mortgage – What’s the Difference? There are times in our lives when the idea of freeing up cash becomes desirable or necessary. Near retirement, this

Read More

Best Tax Deductible Home Improvements For Homeowners

Best Tax Deductible Home Improvements for Homeowners Before delving into tax-deductible home improvements, it’s important to understand that these tax deductions won’t be applied immediately.

Read More

Pros And Cons Of Adjustable Rate Mortgages

Pros and Cons of Adjustable Rate Mortgages When you are in the market for a new home, you may be faced with numerous options for financing your home. One of the choices you will have to make is

Read More