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What’s New With Existing Home Sales?

HousingOn Thursday, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) will release its monthly data on existing home sales for January 2019. The report includes existing home sales of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops and is based on transaction closings from multiple listing services. According to NAR, this report differs from the U.S. Census Bureau's series on new single-family home sales which are based on contracts or the acceptance of a deposit.

The data for December 2018 that was released last month indicated that existing-home sales declined in December with completed transactions decreasing 6.4 percent month-over-month from November to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.99 million in December. Year over year, sales declined 10.3 percent from December 2017.

"The housing market is obviously very sensitive to mortgage rates. Softer sales in December reflected consumer search processes and contract signing activity in previous months when mortgage rates were higher than today," said Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist, NAR about the decline in December existing-home sales. "Now with mortgage rates lower, some revival in home sales is expected going into spring."

Here's what else is happening in the week ahead:

  • NAHB Housing Market Index, Tuesday 10 a.m. EST
  • MBA Mortgage Apps, Wednesday, 7 a.m. EST
  • Census Bureau New Residential Construction Survey, Wednesday, 9 a.m. EST
  • Obduskey vs. McCarthy Holthus Supreme Court Case—Possible Outcome Repercussions, Wednesday, 2 p.m. CST
  • 2019 Tax Changes and How to Prepare, FORCE webinar, Thursday, noon CST
  • Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey, Thursday, 10 a.m. EST

About Author: Radhika Ojha

Radhika Ojha is an independent writer and editor. A former Online Editor and currently a reporter for MReport, she is a graduate of the University of Pune, India, where she received her B.A. in Commerce with a concentration in Accounting and Marketing and an M.A. in Mass Communication. Upon completion of her master’s degree, Ojha worked at a national English daily publication in India (The Indian Express) where she was a staff writer in the cultural and arts features section. Ojha also worked as Principal Correspondent at HT Media Ltd and at Honeywell as an executive in corporate communications. She and her husband currently reside in Houston, Texas.
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