Existing Home Sales Reach Highest Rate in Six Months

Existing home sales increased 0.4 percent in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.47 million, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). January’s reading was the highest in the last six months.

“The spring buying season is right around the corner and current supply levels aren’t even close to what’s needed to accommodate the subsequent growth in housing demand,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Home prices ascending near or above double digit appreciation aren’t healthy – especially considering the fact that household income and wages are barely rising.”

Annual sales of existing homes increased in the Midwest and Northeast, rising 4.0 and 2.7 percent respectively. Sales in the West decreased 4.1 percent while sales in the South were unchanged.

The median existing home price increased to $213,800, an 8.2 percent rise from January 2015.

Distressed sales rose 1 point to 9 percent of sales in January. Seven percent of the month’s sales were foreclosures while 2 percent were short sales. On average, foreclosures and short sales sold for a discount of 13 percent and 12 percent, respectively.

Read the NAR release.