Steel Markets

Home Sales Start Strong in January

Written by Sandy Williams

Existing-home sales started the year strong at a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.46 million in January. Sales slipped 1.3 percent from December, but were up 9.6 percent from a year ago.

“The trend line for housing starts is increasing and showing steady improvement, which should ultimately lead to more home sales,” said Lawrence Yun, chief analyst for the National Association of Realtors.

The median existing-home price increased 6.8 percent from January 2019 to $266,300. Inventory levels in January were at the lowest level since 1999 at 1.42 million units. Inventory increased 2.2 percent from December, but was down 10.7 percent from a year ago. Unsold inventory is at a 3.1-month supply at the current sales price.

“Mortgage rates have helped with affordability, but it is supply conditions that are driving price growth,” Yun said.

Sales of both single-family homes and existing condos and co-ops dipped from December, but were up 9.7 percent and 8.9 percent from a year ago. The median price for existing single-family homes increased 6.9 percent year-over-year to $268,600. Median price for condos increased 5.7 percent to $248,100 in January.

Compared to December, sales in the Midwest and South grew 2.4 percent and 0.4 percent, the Northeast was unchanged, and sales in the West declined 9.4 percent. Median home price increased across all regions and was strongest in the Northeast with an 11.5 percent annual gain.

Latest in Steel Markets