Home/Mortgages/Existing Home Sales Fall in November

December 28, 2012 (Jeff Alan)

Monthly sales of existing homes fell for the third time in the last four months in November but stayed well above last year’s levels according to RE/MAX’s monthly National Housing Report (NHR) while dwindling inventories resulted in an increase in home prices.

November followed October’s 5.4 percent monthly gain in closed transactions with a 7.2 percent decline. Homes sales for the month were still 15.7 percent higher than in November of 2011, marking the 17th consecutive month that home sales have increased year-over-year.

Fifty out of the 53 metro areas in the report posted year-over-year increases in closed transactions, up from 48 in October. Providence, RI (+62.6%), Burlington, VT (+50.8%), Manchester, NH (+38.8%), Nashville, TN (+35.7%), and Tampa, FL (+35.1%) recorded the highest year-over-year gains in closed transactions in November.

The median sales price of the homes sold in November was 3.1 percent higher than in the previous month of October, increasing from $158,900 to $163,750. The median sales price was 6.9 percent higher than the median price of $153,225 in November of 2011. It was the tenth consecutive month that home prices have increased year-over-year following 18 months of declines.

Fifty-one of the 53 metro areas posted higher sales prices in November than they did a year earlier, up from 48 the previous month. The areas that posted the largest price gains during the month were Phoenix, AZ (+34.8%), Atlanta, GA (+25.7%), Tampa, FL (+23.7%), Las Vegas, NV (+20.1%) and Detroit, MI (+19.7%).

Housing supplies continued to dwindle with the average monthly inventory of homes for sale declining by 8.0 percent from October and 29.1 percent from November 2011. It was the 29th consecutive month that the supply of homes for sale has declined.

Although the housing inventory continued to decline, the drop in sales increased the average month’s supply of homes for sale from a revised 5.2 months supply of homes in October to a 5.5 months supply in November but still down from a 7.8 months supply in November of last year.

The average number of days it took for a home to sell remained low at 82 days in November, unchanged from October, but still lower than the 97 days it took a year ago.

Tags: home sales, home prices, seasonal trends, closed transactions, median sales price