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Existing Home Sales Notch 11th Straight Drop in December: NAR

Existing home sales declined for the eleventh month in a row in December, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

All four major regions in the US registered year-over-year (YoY) drops. And except of the West, all other regions notched month-over-month (MoM) declines as well, NAR said.

for saleSales of existing homes dropped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.02 million in December, down 1.5% from November and off 34.0% from a year earlier.

“December was another difficult month for buyers, who continue to face limited inventory and high mortgage rates,” NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement. “However, expect sales to pick up again soon since mortgage rates have markedly declined after peaking late last year.”

NAR said total housing inventory registered at the end of December stood at 970,000 units, down 13.4% from November but up 10.2% from the year-ago period. The association noted that unsold inventory sits at a 2.9-month supply at the current sales pace, a decline from 3.3 months in November but up from 1.7 months in December 2021.

Existing home sales in the Northeast slid 1.9% from November to an annual rate of 520,000, and were down 28.8% from a year earlier. They were down 1% MoM and 30.3% YoY, respectively, to 1.01 million in the Midwest. Sales were off 2.2% MoM and 33.1% YoY, respectively, to 1.80 million in the South. Existing home sales were flat in the West at 690,000, but down 43.4% from the same month the previous year.

The median existing home price for all housing types rose 2.3% in December to $366,900 vs. December 2021, as prices rose in all regions, NAR said. The 130 consecutive months of YoY increases is the longest-running streak on record, the associated noted.

“Home prices nationwide are still positive, though mildly,” Yun noted. “Markets in roughly half of the country are likely to offer potential buyers discounted prices compared to last year.”

Existing home sales include completed transactions of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops.

By Ethan Bernard,

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