Real Estate News: Existing-Home Sales Down 10.5 Percent in November, NAR Says
The total existing-home sales in November has dropped by 10.5 percent--the slowest pace in 19 months.
According to the press release of the National Association of Realtors in PR Newswire, the total completed transaction of existing homes, which include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, decreased by 10.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.76 million in November (lowest since April 2014 at 4.75 million) from a downwardly revised 5.32 million in October. After the decline of existing home sales in October, sales are now 3.8 percent below a year ago--the first year-over-year decrease since September 2014.
NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said that the primary reason for the November decline of existing home sales is the extended time frame due to the Know Before You Own rule.
"It's possible the longer timeframes pushed a latter portion of would-be November transactions into December," says Yun. "As long as closing timeframes don't rise even further, it's likely more sales will register to this month's total, and November's large dip will be more of an outlier."
According to the NAR November 2015 Existing Home Sales Report, the median price for all types of existing homes in November was $220,300, up 6.3 percent from the $207,200 the same month last year. Meanwhile, the total inventory of existing homes available for sale has decreased by 3.3 percent to 2.04 million. The unsold inventory however, has increased to 5.1-months supply from the 4.8-months in October.
NAR's Realtors® Confidence Index has revealed that 47 percent of respondents in November said that they are experiencing a longer time in closing a transaction compared last year, up from 37 percent in October.
"Realtors® worked hard to prepare for Know Before You Owe, and we knew there would be some near-term challenges as the industry continues to adapt," says NAR President Tom Salomone, broker-owner of Real Estate II Inc. in Coral Springs, Florida. "Nonetheless, an early trend of longer lead times to closings is cause for concern. As Realtors® report issues with their transactions; we will continue to work with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to ensure as little disruption as possible to the business of real estate."