The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has just released its monthly statistics on the sales of existing homes. The latest data revealed that sales for November is up by 0.7% from October. The increase was largely attributed to the big surge in the Northeast region but there was also a smaller gain contributed by the South region.
The total sales in existing homes included single family homes, town homes, condominiums, and coops. The percentage increase translates to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.61 million in November from the 5.57 million rate in October. The sales pace is considered its highest since February of 2007 which was pegged at 5.79 million. The November 2016 figure is also 15.4% higher than what it was last year.
For all house types, the median existing home price in November is calculated at $234,900. This is 6.8% higher as compared to the November 2015 figure of $220,000. The price increase for November 2016 is touted as the 57th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.
On other data, by the end of November, the total housing inventory dropped 8% to 1.85 million existing homes available for sale. It is 9.3% lower than what it was November last year. This has been the 18th consecutive month of year-over-year fall.
According to predictions, there will be a continued shortage of existing home supply for 2017 as what has been witnessed by the industry this year. The same trend is foreseen for rental units. The surge in the sale of existing homes is largely indebted to first time home buyers. Statistics showed that they comprised 32% of all home buyers. The slice may be down by 1% as compared from October of 2016 but it is still a high percentage to consider. However, it was not the highest since NAR released home buyer profiles. The highest for this particular segment of home buyers was back in 2015 when it was at 35%.
Existing-home sales in the South in November hiked to 1.4% to an annual rate of 2.22 million, and are now 11.6% above November 2015. The median price in the South was $206,900, up 9.2% from a year ago.
Let's just keep our fingers crossed that the data for December 2016 will be better and will quite be a signal for more things great for the real estate industry come 2017!