Existing-Home Sales Decreased in January

Existing-home sales dipped 1.2 percent in January, a minor drop for the third consecutive month, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.94 million in January, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). This followed a 1.2 percent decrease in December. Sales are 8.5 percent below the January 2017 level.

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, says last month’s home sales of 4.94 million were the lowest since November 2015, but that he does not expect the numbers to decline further going forward. “Existing home sales in January were weak compared to historical norms; however, they are likely to have reached a cyclical low. Moderating home prices combined with gains in household income will boost housing affordability, bringing more buyers to the market in the coming months.”

The total housing inventory increased to 1.59 million homes available for sale and is up from 1.52 million a year ago. The median existing home price was $247,500, up 2.8 percent from January 2018 ($240,800). This marks the 83rd straight month of year-over-year gains.

Distressed sales were 4.0 percent of the total, up from 2 percent from last month and down from 5 percent a year ago.

Read the NAR release.