U.S. home sales up 2% in month

December 4, 2017 3:56 pm

Existing home sales in the United States grew 2% in October 2017. At the same time, Single-Family home prices by 5.5%, new figures show.

Total existing home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, reached a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.48million in October from a downwardly revised 5.37million in September.

That is the highest since June 2017 (5.51million). However, overall, sales are 0.9% below a year ago, says the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, says there were increases in all regions and now is an ideal time to buy.

“Job growth in most of the country continues to carry on at a robust level and is starting to slowly push up wages, which is in turn giving households added assurance that now is a good time to buy a home.

“While the housing market gained a little more momentum last month, sales are still below year-ago levels because low inventory is limiting choices for prospective buyers and keeping price growth elevated.”

“The residual effects on sales from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are still seen in parts of Texas and Florida. However, sales should completely bounce back to their pre-storm levels by the end of the year, as demand for buying in these areas was very strong before the storms.”

The median existing-home price for all housing types in October was $247,000, up 5.5% from October 2016 ($234,100). It is the 68th straight month of year-over-year gains.

Total housing inventory at the end of October decreased 3.2%t to 1.80 million existing homes available for sale. It is now 10.4% lower than a year ago (2.01million). It has fallen year-over-year for 29 consecutive months.

Unsold inventory is at a 3.9-month supply at the current sales pace. This is down from 4.4 months a year ago.

Properties typically stayed on the market for 34 days in October. This is unchanged from last month and down from 41 days a year ago. Forty-seven percent of homes sold in October were on the market for less than a month.

Listings typically go under contract a week faster than last year

Mr Yun says, “Listings – especially those in the affordable price range – continue to go under contract typically a week faster than a year ago, and even quicker in many areas where healthy job markets are driving sustained demand for buying.

“With the seasonal decline in inventory beginning to occur in most markets, prospective buyers will likely continue to see competitive conditions through the winter.”

All-cash sales were 20% of transactions in October, unchanged from September and down 2% a year ago. Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 13% of homes in October. This is down from 15% last month and unchanged from a year ago.

Single-family home sales climbed 2.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.87million in October from 4.77million in September. They are still 1% percent under the 4.92million a year ago. The median existing single-family home price was $248,300 in October, up 5.4% from October 2016.

Existing condominium and co-op sales increased 1.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 610,000 units in October (unchanged from a year ago). The median existing condo price was $236,800 in October, which is 6.9% above a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the South increased 1.9% to an annual rate of 2.16million in October, but are 1.8% lower than a year ago. The median price in the South was $214,900, up 4.6% from a year ago.

Source: https://www.nar.realtor/newsroom/existing-home-sales-grow-20-percent-in-october