Existing-home sales fell for the 12th month in a row in January as house prices rose for the 131st 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 0.7% to an annual rate of 4 million, which is 36.9% lower than the year before. Analysts were expecting an annual rate of 4.1 million.
The median existing-home price for all housing types in January was $359,000, representing a 1.3% rise from the year before.
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.32% as of Feb. 16, up from 6.12% a week before and 3.92% a year earlier, according to Freddie Mac.
Total housing inventory at the end of January was 980,000 units, a 2.1% increase on a month-over-month basis and a 15.3% gain on a year-over-year basis. At the current sales pace, unsold inventory represented a 2.9-month supply, the same as December and up from 1.6 months in January 2022.
Properties typically remained on the market for 33 days in January, up from 26 days in December and 22 in January 2022. Fifty-four percent of homes sold in January were on the market for less than a month.
By property type, single-family home sales in January slid to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.59 million, down 0.8% from 3.62 million in December and down 36.1% from a year earlier. The median existing single-family home price was $363,100, up 0.7% on a year-over-year basis.
Existing condominium and co-op sales came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 410,000 units in January, the same as December but down 43.1% compared to January 2022. The median existing condo price rose 5.2% year over year to $320,000.
“Home sales are bottoming out,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a press release. “Prices vary depending on a market’s affordability, with lower-priced regions witnessing modest growth, and more expensive regions experiencing declines.”
Month-over-month, sales were mixed among the four major U.S. regions, with gains in the South and West and declines in the East and Midwest. Sales were down across the board on an annual basis.