Existing home sales up in Nov., but down most in a year since May 2011

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Existing home sales were up 1.9% to a seasonally adjusted 5.32 million-unit rate in November from an unrevised 1.4% rise to a 5.22 million sales pace the previous month, the National Association of Realtors announced Wednesday.

It was the second consecutive monthly gain after six monthly declines.

The November rate is a 7.0% decrease from the same month a year ago, the largest year-over-dear decline since May 2011. The headline number was above the median 5.20 million unit pace predicted by economists polled by IFR Markets.

“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,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. “Rising inventory is clearly taming home price appreciation.”

Sales in the regions were mostly higher. They were up 7.2% in the Northeast, 5.5% in the Midwest, 2.3% in the South, and down 6.3% in the West.

The median sales price was $257,700 in November, up 4.2% from a year ago.

Inventory levels dipped to 1.74 million existing homes from 1.85 million in October, representing a 3.9-month supply at the current pace. Inventory was up from 3.5 months in November 2017.

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Economic indicators Housing