Existing-Home Sales Surge to 11-Year High

Existing-home sales increased 5.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.81 million in November, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). November was the third consecutive monthly increase and strongest pace since December 2006. Sales were 3.8% above last 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.”

The total housing inventory fell 7.2% to 1.7 million homes available for sale, 9.7% lower than last November and the 30th consecutive month of year-over-year decline. The median existing home price was $248,000, up 5.8% from November 2016 ($234,400). This marks the 69th straight month of year-over-year gains.

Distressed sales were 4% of the total for the fourth straight month, but down 2% from a year ago. Three percent of sales were foreclosures, and 1% were short sales.

Read the NAR release.

About Stephen Newton

Stephen Newton is an economic research associate at ABA.
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