Existing Home Sales Increase in January

Existing-home sales rose 6.7% in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.5 million, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Sales fell year-over-year, down 2.3% from January 2021. First-time buyers were responsible for 27% of sales in January, down from 30% in December and down from 33% in January 2021.

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, states that “Buyers were likely anticipating further rate increases and locking-in at the low rates, and investors added to overall demand with all-cash offers. Consequently, housing prices continue to move solidly higher.”

The total housing inventory in January was 860,000 units, down 2.3% from December’s inventory and down 16.5% from one year ago (1.03 million). The median home price was $350,300, up 15.4% from January 2021 ($303,600), as prices rose in every region. This marks 119 straight months of year-over-year gains.

Distressed sales represented less than 1% of sales in January, equal to the previous month’s percentage and equal to January 2021.