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The Week Ahead: Will Existing Home Sales Rebound?

pending home sales

The National Association of Realtors will release its latest Existing Home Sales report on Wednesday, January 22. 

The NAR’s latest report [1]found existing home sales fell 1.7% from October in November to a rate of 5.35 million. Sales are still up by 2.7% when compared to November 2018.

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist, said the decline in sales for the month is not worrisome. 

“Sales will be choppy when inventory levels are low, but the economy is otherwise performing very well with more than 2 million job gains in the past year,” Yun said. 

The median existing-home price for all housing types in November rose 5% to $271,300. November marks 93 straight months of year-over-year gains. 

Inventory at the end of November was 1.64 million units—down 7.3% from October and 5.7% from November 2018. Unsold inventory is currently at a 3.7-month supply, which is down from 3.9 months in October and 4 months last November.  The volume of unsold inventory has declined for five consecutive months.

"This was a surprising drop in home resales that few people foresaw. After all, mortgage rates were about one percentage point lower in November than they were the previous November, which made homes more affordable than they otherwise would be,” said Holden Lewis, Home and Mortgage Expert for NerdWallet. “This unheralded decline in home sales will freshen a debate about the economy's prospects in 2020, and whether consumer confidence is about to head downward.”

Fewer homes were sold below $250,000, with the NAR reporting a 16% decline along with a 4% reduction for homes priced between $100,000 and $250,000. 


Here's what else is happening in The Week Ahead:

Chicago Fed National Index (January 22)