Existing-home sales rose in November, resuming a growth trend since bottoming out in July, according to data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Existing-home sales – which, in NAR's data, include completed transactions of single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – rose 5.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.68 million in November from 4.43 million in October, but are 27.9% below the cyclical peak of 6.49 million in November 2009, which was the initial deadline for the first-time hom-buyer tax credit.
The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $170,600 in November – up 0.4% from November 2009. Distressed homes accounted for 33 % of sales in November, compared to 34% in October and 33% in November 2009.
Foreclosures, which accounted for two-thirds of the distressed-sales share, sold at a median discount of 15% in November, while short sales were discounted 10% in comparison with traditional home sales, NAR says.
In addition, total housing inventory at the end of November fell 4% to 3.71 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 9.5-month supply at the current sales pace – down from a 10.5-month supply in October.
‘In the short term, mortgage interest rates should hover just above recent record lows, while home prices have generally stabilized following declines from 2007 through 2009," says Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist. ‘Although mortgage interest rates have ticked up in recent weeks, overall conditions remain extremely favorable for buyers who can obtain credit.’
SOURCE: National Association of Realtors