Steel Markets

Existing Home Sales Down Again in January: NAR

Written by David Schollaert

Existing home sales declined for the 12th month in a row in January, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

All four major regions in the US registered year-over-year (YoY) drops, though sales were mixed month over month (MoM) among the four regions. The South and West regions registered increases MoM, while the East and Midwest declined, NAR said.

for saleSales of existing homes dropped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4 million in January, down 0.7% from December and off 36.9% from a year earlier.

“Home sales are bottoming out,” NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement. “Prices vary depending on a market’s affordability, with lower-priced regions witnessing modest growth and more expensive regions experiencing declines.”

NAR said total housing inventory registered at the end of January stood at 980,000 units, up 2.1% from December and up 15.3% from the year-ago period. The association noted that unsold inventory sits at a 2.9-month supply at the current sales pace, unchanged from December but up from 1.6 months in January 2022.

Existing home sales in the Northeast fell 3.8% from December to an annual rate of 500,000, and were down 35.9% from a year earlier. They were down 5% MoM and 33.3% YoY, respectively, to 960,000 in the Midwest. Sales were up 1.1% MoM but down 36.6% YoY, respectively, to 1.82 million in the South. Existing home sales rose 2.9% MoM but were down 42.4%, respectively to 720,000 in the West.

The median existing-home price for all housing types rose 1.3% in January to $359,000 vs. January 2022, as prices rose in three out of four regions, NAR said.

The 131 consecutive months of YoY increases is the longest-running streak on record, the association noted.

“Inventory remains low, but buyers are beginning to have better negotiating power,” Yun said. “Homes sitting on the market for more than 60 days can be purchased for around 10% less than the original list price.”

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

By David Schollaert,


David Schollaert

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