Existing-home sales rose in January, according to new data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Total existing-home sales increased 4.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.57 million in January from a downwardly revised 4.38 million-unit pace in December, according to NAR's data. However, total housing inventory at the end of January fell 0.4% to 2.31 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 6.1-month supply at the current sales pace, down from a 6.4-month supply in December.Â The total unsold listed inventory has trended down from a record 4.04 million in July 2007 and is 20.6% below a year ago.
‘The broad inventory condition can be described as moving into a rough balance, not favoring buyers or sellers,’ says Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. ‘Foreclosure sales are moving swiftly, with ready home buyers and investors competing in nearly all markets. A government proposal to turn bank-owned properties into rentals on a large scale does not appear to be needed at this time.’