Existing-home sales dropped by 1.3 percent in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.46 million, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). However overall sales are significantly higher year-over-year, up 9.6% from January 2019 (4.98 million).
Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, finds the outlook for 2020 home sales promising despite the drop in January. “Existing-home sales are off to a strong start at 5.46 million.” Yun said. “The trend line for housing starts is increasing and showing steady improvement, which should ultimately lead to more home sales.”
The total housing inventory was 1.42 million, up 2.2% from December but a 10.7% decrease from 1.59 million a year ago. The median home price was $266,300, up 6.8% from January 2019. This increase marks the 95th straight month of year-over-year gains.
Distressed sales were 2 percent of the total, unchanged from last month and down from January 2019.
Read the NAR release.