Realtors Report Declines In Existing Home Sales In January
23 February, 2018, 04:59 | Author: Martin Tyler
"I still think we will see the job market and demographics overcome the rise in mortgage rates and give some upward movement in home sales, but much less than in the past because the number of homes for sale is so small", Mr. Berson said.
According to the National Association of Realtors, existing-home sales in the USA slumped for the second consecutive month in January 2018, and experienced their largest decline on an annual basis in over three years.
First-time buyers made up 29 percent of all sales, compared with 33 percent a year earlier.
The NAR's chief economist, Lawrence Yun, blames any sluggishness on low inventory, a common refrain for more than a year.
According to the Realtors, sales dropped 3.2 percent from December to January, the second straight monthly decline, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.38 million.
"While the good news is that Realtors in most areas are saying buyer traffic is even stronger than the beginning of a year ago, sales failed to follow course and far lagged last January's pace", Yun said.
The National Association of Realtors said a stifling lack of homes on the market was driving up prices and holding down sales.
The median sales price was $240,500 in January, off from $246,500 in December, but up 5.8% from a year ago. January marked the 71st straight month of year-over-year gains.
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Ready to get started? "With demand exceeding supply in most areas, competition will only heat up in the months ahead".
Distressed sales - foreclosures and short sales - were 5 percent of sales in January, unchanged from December and 7 percent below a year ago. It was the largest month-over-month percent increase in the median price of existing homes sold since February 2015. Porter County's sales fell 9 percent to 121, while the median price rose 5.8 percent to $190,500. The total supply of homes for sale fell to 1.52 million last month, the fewest for any January since record keeping began in 1999.
The drop was surprising given that pending home sales increased slightly over the past two months, which typically predicts an uptick in existing home sales.
A shortage of available houses on the market has driven up prices in many regions. The median price in the Midwest was $188,000, up 8.7 percent from a year ago.
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A total of 601 sales in January topped the same month in 2017 by 1.5 percent, according to GNIAR's Multiple Listing Service. The median price in the West was $362,600, up 8.8 percent from January 2017.
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