November saw the third consecutive month of increasing existing-home sales
Existing-home sales saw a slight increase in November, rising 1.9% above activity in October, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). Three out of four regions saw increases, with only the Northeast holding steady. No regions saw a decrease in activity this month.
Year-over-year, November 2021 represents a decrease of 2% compared to November of last year. Mortgage rates remained near all-time lows, though not as low we saw in the winter of 2020, while housing inventory also remained low.
“Determined buyers were able to land housing before mortgage rates rise further in the coming months,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Locking in a constant and firm mortgage payment motivated many consumers who grew weary of escalating rents over the last year. Mortgage rates are projected to jump in 2022, however, I don’t expect the imminent increase to be overly dramatic.”
Inventory down, prices up again
Total inventory in November was again an issue. There were 1.11 million homes available at the end of the month, which was down 9.8% from October and 13.3% from November of 2020. That represents a 2.1 month supply of homes for sale.
With the lack of homes available to purchase, the price of homes has continued its trend upward. The median existing-home price in November was $353,900, up 13.3% from November of 2020. That makes 117 months of year-over-year increases, the longest-running streak on record.
It had been hoped that new construction would be able to ease the inventory issue and help keep home prices from skyrocketing, but so far that hasn’t been the case. “Supply-chain disruptions for building new homes and labor shortages have hindered bringing more inventory to the market,” said Yun. “Therefore, housing prices continue to march higher due to the near record-low supply levels.”
The average time on market for homes in November held steady at 18 days, the same as October. That’s down from 21 days a years ago.
Positives across the country
Three out of four regions saw gains from October, year-over-year numbers were down from a year ago, with the largest decrease in the Northeast.
- Northeast: level at 0%—11.6% lower than last year
- Midwest: up 0.7%—0.7% lower than last year
- South: up 2.9%—1.1% higher than last year
- West: up 2.3%—3.6% lower than last year
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