According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), the sale of existing homes increased for the third straight month in November, reaching the strongest pace in over a decade. The West was the only major region to not experience a surge in buying activity last month. Total existing home sales—completed transactions of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops—increased 5.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.81 million in November.
“Faster economic growth in recent quarters, the booming stock market and continuous job gains are fueling substantial demand for buying a home as 2017 comes to an end,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist. “As evidenced by a subdued level of first-time buyers and increased share of cash buyers, move-up buyers with considerable down payments and those with cash made up a bulk of the sales activity last month. The odds of closing on a home are much better at the upper end of the market, where inventory conditions continue to be markedly better.”
Existing Home Sales
- First-time buyers comprised 29 percent of buying activity in November, a three percent drop from a month before
- On average, properties remained on the market for 40 days in November, an increase from 34 days in October
- From October to November, single-family home sales increased 4.5 percent, existing condominium and co-op sales rose 14.3 percent
- Existing homes sales grew 6.7 percent in the Northeast, 8.4 percent in the Midwest, 8.3 percent in the South, and in the West, they declined 2.3 percent
The median price for existing homes sold in November reached $248,000, a 5.8 percent hike from the $234,400 figure a year ago. The November price increase represents the 69th straight month of year-over-year gains.
This vibrant buying activity means a further depleted inventory for hopeful homebuyers who must also balance rising prices. Existing home inventory fell 7.2 percent to 1.67 million in November 2017, and housing inventory has fallen year-over-year for 30 consecutive months.