Steel Markets

Sales of Existing Homes Surge

Written by Sandy Williams

Existing home sales surged for a third month in November, increasing at their strongest pace in almost 11 years, reports the National Association of Realtors. Sales jumped 5.6 percent sequentially to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.81 million and were 3.8 percent higher year-over-year. The median home price for all types of existing housing was $248,000, an increase of 5.8 percent from November 2016.

Single-family home sales increased 4.5 percent last month, while existing condo and co-op sales grew 14.3 percent. The median price for a single-family home was $248,000 and for condos $242,500. Prices were up 5.4 percent and 8.8 percent year-over-year, respectively.

Housing inventory tightened to 1.67 million existing homes for sale at the end of November. Inventory is down 7.2 percent from October and 9.7 percent from a year ago. At the current sales pace, inventory is at a 3.4-month supply.

“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 NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “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.”

Existing home sales increased 67 percent in the Northeast, 8.4 percent in the Midwest, and 8.3 percent in the South. Sales in the West declined 2.3 percent.

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