November existing home sales rose nationally for the second time in as many months. Sales increased in 3 of the 4 US regions, with only the West falling. Prices continued to climb, as they have for 6 years and 9 months. The pace of sales was slower than it was in October, and slower than a year ago. As you might expect with another month’s increase in sales, inventory was down from the previous month, but you’ll see in this November 2018 Housing Market Recap, it remained higher than the previous November.
November existing home sales rose 1.9 percent from October, but are 7.0 percent lower than November 2017, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) November Existing Home Sales Report, released December 19th.
Inventory decreased from October to November, but increased year-over-year. At the current sales pace, the supply of unsold inventory was 3.9 months, up from 3.5 months a year ago.
Home prices continued to increase year-over-year. The median price of existing homes sold in November was $257,700, an increase of 4.2 percent from November 2017 ($247,200). We’ve now reached 81 consecutive months of year-over-year increases.
Days on the market (DOM) were up from October, moving from 36 to 42. A year ago, homes typically stayed on the market for 40 days, so the sales pace is slightly slower year-over-year.
According to NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun, “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. Rising inventory is clearly taming home price appreciation.”
Regions: The Northeast leads in sales. Year-over-year, prices rose but sales fell. However, month-over-month, only the West showed a drop in sales. Comparing November to October, sales were strongest in the Northeast (up 7.2 percent), followed by the Midwest (5.5 percent) and the South (2.3 percent), with the West lagging behind with a drop of 6.3 percent. The Northeast also led the year-over-year price increases at 6.5 percent, followed by the South at 3.2 percent, the Midwest at 2.6 percent, and the West at 1.8 percent. Midland, TX remained at the top of the hottest metro areas list (measured by days on the market/listing views per property). The rest of the November Top 10 were Fort Wayne, IN, Columbus, OH, Odessa, TX, Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH, Colorado Springs, CO, Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade CA, San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA, Detroit-Warren-Dearborn MI, and Boise City, ID.
Increases in inventory may help buyers. While we have by no means shifted to a buyer’s market, the increase in inventory may offer buyers a little room for negotiation. Your Realtor® can advise you on local market conditions, but at this time of year, you may find motivated sellers who are ready to move. Don’t forget: Think financing first! Is this the year you buy a home? Get the full picture by talking to a First Choice Loan Services Inc. mortgage loan originator before you start looking at properties.