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Financial News: U.S. Existing Home Sales Unexpectedly Jump 1.9% In

U.S. Existing Home Sales Unexpectedly Jump 1.9% In November

12/19/2018 - 10:21:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Existing home sales in the U.S. unexpectedly showed a significant increase in the month of November, according to a report released by the National Association of Realtors on Wednesday.

NAR said existing home sales surged up by 1.9 percent to an annual rate of 5.32 million in November after jumping by 1.4 percent to a rate of 5.22 million in October. Economists had expected existing home sales to drop by 0.6 percent.

Despite the second consecutive monthly increase, existing home sales in November were down by 7.0 percent compared to the same month a year ago.

"The market conditions in November were mixed, with good signs of stabilizing home sales compared to recent months, though down significantly from one year ago," said NAR's chief economist Lawrence Yum. "Rising inventory is clearly taming home price appreciation."

The report said the median existing home price for all housing types in November was $257,700, up 1.0 percent from $255,100 in October and up 4.2 percent from $247,200 in November of 2017.

Total housing inventory decreased to 1.74 million existing homes available for sale at the end of November from 1.85 million at the end of October but is up from 1.67 million a year ago.

The unsold inventory represents 3.9 months of supply at the current sales pace, down from 4.3 months in October but up from 3.5 months a year ago.

NAR also said single-family home sales climbed 1.9 percent to a rate of 4.71 million in November, while existing condominium and co-op sales increased 1.7 percent to a rate of 610,000.

Existing home sales in the Northeast and Midwest showed significant increased during the month, spiking by 7.2 percent and 5.5 percent, respectively.

The report said existing home sales in the South also rose by 2.3 percent, although existing home sales in the West tumbled by 6.3 percent.

"A marked shift is occurring in the West region, with much lower sales and very soft price growth," said Yun. "It is also the West region where consumers have expressed the weakest sentiment about home buying, largely due to lack of affordable housing inventory."

Next Thursday, the Commerce Department is scheduled to release its report on new home sales in the month of November.

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