Existing home sales surged ahead for the third straight month, gaining 5.6% in November to an annualized pace of 5.81 million. The better-than-expected gain follows an increase of 2.4% in October to an annual pace of 5.50 million. With the gains in the past couple of months existing home sales are trending higher and are now 3.8% above their pace last year. Regionally, sales gained nicely in all areas of the country except for the West where they fell 2.3%.
The inventory of homes available for sale declined 7.2% on the month to 1.670 million which represents just a 3.4-month supply at the current sales pace. Inventories are down a steep 9.7% from November of last year. Clearly, such low supply on the market is constraining sales and lifting prices.
House prices continued to move higher over the past year as the median price for an existing home was up 5.8% to $248,000 in November from November 2016.
NAR chief economist, Lawrence Yun noted “Faster economic growth in recent quarters, the booming stock market and continuous job gains are fueling substantial demand for buying a home as 2017 comes to an end.”
**Credit to Economic Focus for this article.