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Existing-Home Sales Fall For 10th Straight Month

David Krechevsky
Dec 21, 2022
NAR November 2022 Existing-Home Sales

National Association of Realtors says sales in November fell 7.7% from October.

KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • Sales fell for the 10th consecutive month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.09 million.
  • The median existing-home sales price rose to $370,700, up 3.5% year over year.
  • The median price has risen year over year for a record 129 consecutive months.
  • Inventory of unsold existing homes fell for the fourth straight month to 1.14 million, a 3.3-month supply.

Sales of existing homes fell for the 10th month in a row in November, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported Wednesday.

All four major U.S. regions recorded both month-over-month and year-over-year declines.

Total sales of existing homes — completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops — fell 7.7% from October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.09 million in November, the NAR said. Sales have fallen 35.4% from November 2021.

"In essence, the residential real estate market was frozen in November, resembling the sales activity seen during the COVID-19 economic lockdowns in 2020," said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. "The principal factor was the rapid increase in mortgage rates, which hurt housing affordability and reduced incentives for homeowners to list their homes. Plus, available housing inventory remains near historic lows."

Total housing inventory registered at the end of November was 1.14 million units, down 6.6% from October but up 2.7% (1.11 million) from a year earlier. Unsold inventory stood at a 3.3-month supply at the current sales pace, identical to October but up from 2.1 months a year earlier.

The median existing-home price for all housing types in November was $370,700, up 3.5% from $358,200 a year earlier, as prices rose in all regions. It marked a staggering 129 consecutive months of year-over-year increases, the longest streak on record.

Properties typically remained on the market for 24 days in November, up from 21 days in October and 18 days in November 2021. Of homes sold in November, 61% were on the market for less than a month.

Buyer Breakdown

First-time buyers were responsible for 28% of sales in November, unchanged from October but up from 26% in November 2021. NAR's 2022 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers — released last month — found that the annual share of first-time buyers was 26%, the lowest since NAR began tracking the data.

All-cash sales accounted for 26% of transactions in November, the same as in October but up from 24% from November 2021.

Individual investors or second-home buyers, who make up many cash sales, purchased 14% of homes in November, down from 16% in October and 15% in November 2021.

Distressed sales — which include foreclosures and short sales — represented 2% of sales in November, essentially the same as in October and a year earlier.

According to Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.31% as of Dec. 15, down from 6.33% last week, but up from 3.12% one year ago.

"The market may be thawing, since mortgage rates have fallen for five straight weeks," Yun said. "The average monthly mortgage payment is now almost $200 less than it was several weeks ago, when interest rates reached their peak for this year."

Realtor.com's Market Trends Report in November shows that the largest year-over-year median list price growth occurred in Milwaukee (+38.1%); Memphis, Tenn. (+26.9%); and Miami (+24.8%). Phoenix reported the highest increase in the share of homes that had prices reduced compared to last year (+28.4 percentage points), followed by Austin, Texas, (+23.8 percentage points) and Denver (+21.0 percentage points).

Single-family, Condo/Co-op Sales

Sales of existing single-family homes fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.65 million in November, down 7.6% from 3.95 million in October and down 35.2% from a year earlier. The median existing single-family home price was $376,700 in November, up 3.2% from the same month last year.

Sales of existing condominiums and co-ops were recorded at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 440,000 units in November, down 8.3% from October and 37.1% from the previous year. The median existing condo price was $321,600 in November, an annual increase of 5.8%.

Regional Breakdown

  • Existing-home sales in the Northeast fell 7% from October to an annual rate of 530,000 in November; that was also down 28.4% from November 2021. The median price in the Northeast was $394,700, up 3.5% from a year earlier.
  • Sales in the Midwest retreated 5.6% from the previous month to an annual rate of 1.02 million in November, down 30.6% from last year. The median price was $268,600, up 3.9% from November 2021.
  • In the South, sales dwindled 7.1% in November from October to an annual rate of 1.84 million, a 35% decrease from a year earlierr. The median price was $340,100, up 4.4% from this time last year.
  • Existing-home sales in the West fell 12.5% from October to an annual rate of 700,000 in November, down 45.7% from a year ago. The median price was $569,800, a 2.0% increase from November 2021.

"The West region experienced the largest decline in home sales and the smallest increase in home prices compared to the other regions of the country," Yun said.

The National Association of Realtors is America's largest trade association, representing more than 1.5 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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