Existing home sales dipped in November

National

Across the country, existing-home sales (completed transactions for all types of homes) decreased in November and sales were reported to be at the slowest pace in 18 months (source: National Association of Realtors – “NAR”). Existing-home sales decreased 10.5%, the largest decrease since the summer of 2010. Home sales in November are almost 4% below last year levels.

One of the causes is the new “Know Before You Owe rule” which is delaying closings. Realtors are reporting it takes longer to close on home due to the new mortgage process when compared to last year. These rules became effective on October 3, 2015. Another contributing factor was the limited inventory and affordability issues adversely affecting buyers’ ability to purchase.

According to a recent NAR report, home inventory at the end of November decreased 3.3% . Home inventory levels are almost 2% less than a year ago. Home inventory is at a 5.1 month supply as compared to a 4.8-month supply in October.

The median existing-home price for all housing types was 6.3% higher in November than a year ago. This is the 45th straight month of year-over-year gains in median home prices.

Relative to days on the market, 37% of homes sold in November were on the market for less than a month. Homes were on the market for a median of 54 days in November – a decrease from 57 days in October; and a decrease from 65 days in November of 2014. Short sales were on the market for a median of 91 days, foreclosures sold in a median of 47 days while non-distressed homes sold in a median of 54 days.

Distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) increased 9% in November as compared to 6% in October, but were the same as last year. Foreclosures accounted for 7% of November sales while short sales accounted for 2% . Foreclosures, on average, sold for a discount of 15% below market value; while short sales sold for discount, on average, of 15% .

Regional

In the Northeast, existing-home sales decreased slightly over 9% in November, but are 1.5% higher than a year ago. The median price of homes increased 3.2% above that of a year ago.

In the Midwest, existing-home sales decreased 15.4%, and are 2.7% lower than a year ago. The median price of homes increased 5.3% above that of a year ago.

In the South, existing-home sales decreased 6.2%, and are 5.7% lower than a year ago. The median price of homes increased 6.3% above that of a year ago.

In the West, existing-home sales decreased 13.9%, and are 4.8% lower than a year ago. The median price of homes increased 8.3% above that of a year ago.

In closing, I wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year!

Mary Ann Clark is a realtor with Coldwell Banker at 177 West Putnam Avenue in Greenwich. Questions or comments may be emailed to [email protected]

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