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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Existing Home Sales During October 2017

The Existing Home Sales report for October 2017 was released by The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) this morning:

Predicted: 5,440,000
Actual: 5,480,000

  •  Change from Previous Month: +2.0%
  •  Change from One Year Previous: -0.9%
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Inventory: 1,800,000 (3.9 months supply)

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The yellow-highlighted, "actual" figure above represents the preliminary, seasonally adjusted annualized sales count of existing homes, co-ops and condominiums for the indicated month. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

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Median Price for A Used Home During October 2017: $247,000

Change from One Year Previous: +5.5%

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Average Price for A Used Home During October 2017: $288,400

Change from One Year Previous: +4.7%

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From today's report:

"...Existing-home sales increased in October to their strongest pace since earlier this summer, but continual supply shortages led to fewer closings on an annual basis for the second straight month, according to the National Association of Realtors®..."

"...Total housing inventory at the end of October decreased 3.2 percent to 1.80 million existing homes available for sale, and is now 10.4 percent lower than a year ago (2.01 million) and has fallen year-over-year for 29 consecutive months. Unsold inventory is at a 3.9-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from 4.4 months a year ago.

Properties typically stayed on the market for 34 days in October, which is unchanged from last month and down from 41 days a year ago. Forty-seven percent of homes sold in October were on the market for less than a month.

Realtor.com®'s Market Hotness Index, measuring time on the market data and listings views per property, revealed that the hottest metro areas in October were San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.; Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif.; San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif.; San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif.; and Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass.

'Listings -- especially those in the affordable price range -- continue to go under contract typically a week faster than a year ago, and even quicker in many areas where healthy job markets are driving sustained demand for buying,' said Yun. 'With the seasonal decline in inventory beginning to occur in most markets, prospective buyers will likely continue to see competitive conditions through the winter.' 

According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage rose to 3.90 percent in October (matches highest rate since June) from 3.81 percent in September. The average commitment rate for all of 2016 was 3.65 percent.

First-time buyers were 32 percent of sales in October, which is up from 29 percent in September but down from 33 percent a year ago. NAR's 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers revealed that the annual share of first-time buyers was 34 percent.

NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall, a sixth-generation Realtor® from Columbia, Missouri and CEO of RE/MAX Boone Realty, says the pending tax reform legislation in both the House and Senate is a direct attack on homeowners and homeownership, with the result being a tax increase on millions of middle-class homeowners in both large and small communities throughout the U.S.

'Making changes to the mortgage interest deduction, eliminating or capping the deduction for state and local taxes and modifying the rules on capital gains exemptions poses serious harm to millions of homeowners and future buyers,' said Mendenhall. 'With first-time buyers struggling to reach the market, Congress should not be creating disincentives to buy and sell a home. Furthermore, adding $1.5 trillion to the national debt will raise future borrowing costs for our children and grandchildren.'

All-cash sales were 20 percent of transactions in October, unchanged from September and down from 22 percent a year ago. Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 13 percent of homes in October, down from 15 percent last month and unchanged from a year ago.

Distressed sales -- foreclosures and short sales -- were 4 percent of sales in October, unchanged from last month and down from 5 percent year ago. Three percent of October sales were foreclosures and 1 percent were short sales..."

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  • The monthly Existing Home Sales report is released on or around the 25TH day of each month.

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