Economy

US Existing-Home Sales Jumped in November

US Existing-Home Sales Jumped in November

After reporting a sharp increase in existing home sales in the United States in the previous month, the National Association of Realtors released a report on Wednesday showing another jump in existing home sales in the month of November.

Inventories, on the other hand, sank 7.2 percent to 1.67 million existing homes on the market, putting the available stock down 9.7 percent from a year ago, a measure which has fallen for 30 straight months.

The number of sales represents a decrease of 2.5 percent from 2016's record high of 10,991 homes. November's price increase marks the 69th straight month of year-over-year gains with Yun noting that price appreciation is happening too fast in a lot of markets. Strong sales expected in December should push 2017 to beat last year's sales, Greg Gosselin, president of the Maine Association of Realtors, said in a prepared statement.

Single-family production rose 5.3% in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 930,000, which also is the highest post-recession level. There is only 3.4 months' supply of homes on the market, the lowest level ever tracked by the Realtors.

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"It is highly likely that existing sales would have been much stronger in 2017 if supply had been more abundant", said David Berson, Nationwide chief economist. The median indicates that half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

November's statewide median sales price was $254,000, up by $14,000, or 5.8 percent, compared to a year ago when the median was $240,000.

"While we're pleased that important homeownership incentives such as the capital gains exclusion survived in conference, additional changes are required to truly incentivize homeownership in the tax code".

All-cash sales were 22 percent of transactions in November, which is up from 20 percent in October and 21 percent a year ago.

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Sales were 3.8% above last November.

"As evidenced by a subdued level of first-time buyers and increased share of cash buyers, move-up buyers with considerable downpayments and those with cash made up a bulk of the sales activity last month", Yun said.

Regionally in November, combined single- and multifamily housing production rose 19% in the West and 11.1% in the South. Starts fell 12.9% in the Midwest and 39.6% in the Northeast.

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