Economic Data Roundup (12/19/2018)

12/19/18 12:00 PM

Existing home sales in America rose by 1.9 percent in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.32 million units, according to the National Association of Realtors. That was the second monthly increase in a row and better than expected. Regionally, existing home sales in November lifted in the Northeast (+7.2 percent), the Midwest (+5.5 percent), and the South (+2.3 percent) but fell in the West (-6.3 percent). Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, added that it is the West region “where consumers have expressed the weakest sentiment about home buying, largely due to lack of affordable housing inventory.”


On a year-over-year basis, though, all regions of the country have seen a marked slowdown in home sales, and properties typically stayed on the market for 42 days in November, up from 36 days in October and 40 days a year ago. On the bright side, the median selling price for an existing home in November was $257,700. That was the first monthly increase since June and provides another needed piece of evidence that 2018’s weakness in the housing market may just be a healthy correction rather than a complete collapse akin to 2006-2008. Moreover, nearly half of the homes sold in November were on the market for less than a month, and first-time buyers were responsible for 33 percent of November’s total sales, up from both last month and a year ago.




Sources: Econoday, NAR, FRBSL

Post author: Charles Couch