Existing-home sales continued their upward trend in November, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
NAR reports that total existing-home sales rose 5.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million in November, up from a downwardly revised 4.76 million in October, and are 14.5% higher than the 4.40 million-unit pace in November 2011. NAR adds that sales are at the highest level since November 2009, when the annual pace spiked at 5.44 million.
The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $180,600 in November, up 10.1% from November 2011. This is the ninth consecutive monthly year-over-year price gain, which last occurred from September 2005 to May 2006.
Distressed homes accounted for 22% of November sales – 12% were foreclosures, and 10% were short sales – down from 24% in October and down 29% percent from November 2011.Â Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 20% below market value in November, while short sales were discounted 16%.
Total housing inventory at the end of November fell 3.8% to 2.03 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 4.8-month supply at the current sales pace; it was 5.3 months in October, and is the lowest housing supply since September of 2005 when it was 4.6 months. Listed inventory is 22.5% below a year ago when there was a 7.1-month supply, while raw unsold inventory is now at the lowest level since December 2001 when there were 1.89 million homes on the market.