Real Estate

After 5-Month Stretch, Existing-Home Sales Take A Step Back

Sales were down 2.5 percent from October, with every region dipping or remaining flat month over month, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Following a COVID-fueled slowdown this spring, existing-home sales have soared above last year’s numbers, rising to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.69 million in November, 25.8 percent above November 2019, according the National Association of Realtors. 

Sales were down 2.5 percent from October, with every region dipping or remaining flat month over month. The latest numbers ended five consecutive months of month-over-month gains.

“Home sales in November took a marginal step back, but sales for all of 2020 are already on pace to surpass last year’s levels,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement. “Given the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s amazing that the housing sector is outperforming expectations.”

Yun believes the industry will continue to experience strong growth in 2021, on the heels of the COVID-19 relief package passed this week and with the vaccine beginning to become available.

“Circumstances are far from being back to the pre-pandemic normal,” Yun said. “However, the latest stimulus package and with the vaccine distribution underway, and a very strong demand for homeownership still prevalent, robust growth is forthcoming for 2021.”

Inventory continues to be an issue for the market, however, hitting an all-time recorded low. At the end of the month, unsold inventory sat at a 2.3-months supply at the current sales pace, down from 2.5-months in October and 3.7-months supply in October 2019.

Home prices continued their precipitous climb in November and posted the 105th consecutive month of annual gains. The median existing-home price in November hit $310,800, up 14.6 percent from November 2019.

Email Patrick Kearns

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