NAR: Existing-home sales fall 7.7% in November 

by John Yellig

Existing-home sales fell for the 10th month in a row in November as house prices rose for the 129th consecutive month, the longest streak of gains on record, the National Association of REALTORS® said.  

Month over month, existing-home sales, which include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, slid 7.7% to an annual rate of 4.09 million, which is 35.4% lower than the year before.    

 “In essence, the residential real estate market was frozen in November, resembling the sales activity seen during the COVID-19 economic lockdowns in 2020,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a press release. “The principal factor was the rapid increase in mortgage rates, which hurt housing affordability and reduced incentives for homeowners to list their homes. Plus, available housing inventory remains near historic lows.” 

The median existing-home price for all housing types in November was $370,700, representing a 3.5% rise from the year before.    

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.31% as of Dec. 15, down from 6.33% a week before up from 3.12% a year earlier, according to Freddie Mac. 

“The overall narrative in 2022 was one of a strong first half and a much slower, rebalancing second half,” said Compass president of national brokerage operations Neda Navab, who cited a recent survey of Compass agents, which found a majority expect rates to gradually fall to between 5% and 6% by the end of 2023. “In 2023, we may see the reverse: A somewhat challenging first half that gives way to what could be a surprisingly strong second half as affordability improves, inventory grows and buyers, sellers and their agents all adjust to a more balanced, healthy and sustainable market.” 

Total housing inventory at the end of November was 1,140,000 units, a 6.6% decrease on a month-over-month basis and a 2.7% gain on a year-over-year basis. At the current sales pace, unsold inventory represented a 3.3-month supply, the same as October and up from 2.1 months in November 2021.    

Properties typically remained on the market for 24 days in November, up from 21 days in October and 18 in November 2021. Sixty-one percent of homes sold in November were on the market for less than a month.       

By property type, single-family home sales in November slid to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.65 million, down 7.6% from 3.95 million in October and down 35.2% from a year earlier. The median existing single-family home price was $376,700, up 3.2% on a year-over-year basis.           

Existing condominium and co-op sales came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 440,000 units in November, down 8.3% from October and 37.1% compared to November 2021. The median existing condo price rose 5.8% year over year to $321,600.         

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