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Existing-Home Sales Surge to 11-Year High

21 December, 2017, 00:52 | Author: Samuel Sharp
  • US existing home sales jump to 11-year high

Sales of previously owned US homes rose in November to the strongest pace in more than a decade, a sign of solid momentum in the housing sector as 2017 draws to a close.

November existing home sales rose a stronger than expected 5.6 percent from October, to 5.81 million (SAAR), and are up 3.8 percent over a year ago. That was the highest level since December 2006 and followed an upwardly revised 5.50-million-unit pace in October.

"Faster economic growth in recent quarters, the booming stock market and continuous job gains are fueling substantial demand for buying a home as 2017 comes to an end", NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said. The national median sale price was up 5.4 percent from November 2016 to $248,800. This marks the 69th straight month of year-over-year gains. According to Yun, these rising prices, coupled with increasing mortgage rates, could pose an affordability problem for many buyers come 2018. "Price appreciation is too fast in a lot of markets right now".

He noted that the increase in homebuilder optimism will likely mean more new construction in 2018 to help ease persistent inventory shortages.

News Corp, owner of the Journal, also operates Realtor.com under license from the National Association of Realtors.

"The fundamentals remain favorable, with mortgage rates still low and the labor market very strong". In Cumberland County, sales were up 7.98 percent to 1,164 and the median price rose as well by 5.45 percent to $279,450. The introduction of preliminary tax reform plans earlier in the month - which included changes to several existing tax policies beneficial to many current homeowners - may have pushed up sales, encouraging some buyers to push purchases forward in order to be grandfathered in to existing laws.

All-cash sales were 22 percent of transactions in November, which is up from 20 percent in October and 21 percent a year ago. Regionally, sales in the Northeast were up 6.7 percent and the regional median price rose 4 percent to $273,600.

Real estate agents across the state sold 1,576 homes in November, an increase of 11.5 percent from a year earlier, according to a report issued Wednesday by Maine Listings.

Within in ME, home prices jumped more than 24 percent in Piscataquis County in a comparison of quarterly sales.



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