Existing-home sales rose 0.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.61 million in November, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). November’s sales pace was the highest since February 2007 (5.79 million). A large increase in home sales in the Northeast and a smaller gain in the South helped push total sales up for the third consecutive month.
“The healthiest job market since the Great Recession and the anticipation of some buyers to close on a home before mortgage rates accurately rose from their historically low level have combined to drive sales higher in recent months,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Furthermore, it’s no coincidence that home shoppers in the Northeast — where price growth has been tame all year — had the most success last month.”
The total housing inventory fell 8.0% to 1.85 million homes available for sale, while the median existing home price stood at $234,900, a 6.8% increase from November 2015.
Distressed sales moved up to 6% of the total in November, but down from 9% a year ago. Four percent of sales were foreclosures and 2% were short sales. On average, foreclosures and short sales sold for discounts of 17% and 16%, respectively.
Read the NAR release.