November Existing-Home Sales Rise Again

Existing-home sales continued to recover last month following a rise in October, with the level of sales activity suggesting a turn in the market, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Total existing-home sales – including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – rose 0.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.28 million units in November from a level of 6.24 million in October, but were 10.7 percent below the 7.03 million-unit pace in November 2005.

Total housing inventory levels fell 1.0 percent at the end of November to 3.82 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 7.3-month supply at the current sales pace.

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $218,000 in November, which is 3.1 percent lower than November 2005 when the median price was $225,000. The median is a typical market price where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage was 6.24 percent in November, down from 6.36 percent in October; the rate was 6.33 percent in November 2005.

Single-family home sales increased 0.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.52 million in November from a pace of 5.51 million in October, but were 10.2 percent lower than the 6.15 million-unit level in November 2005. The median existing single-family home price was $217,200 in November, which is 3.6 percent lower than a year ago.

Existing condominium and cooperative housing sales rose 3.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 757,000 units in November from a downwardly revised 734,000 in October, but were 13.6 percent below the 876,000-unit pace in November 2005. The median existing condo price3 was $224,600 in November, which is unchanged from a year ago.



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