December 19, 2013

Existing Home Sales Drop Year-Over-Year For First Time Since 2011

The seasonally adjusted pace of existing-home sales in the U.S. fell 4.3 percent from a downwardly revised pace of 5.12 million in October to a 4.90 million pace in November, the third drop in as many months and 1.2 percent below the 4.96 million unit pace recorded in November of 2012, the first time in 29 months the pace has been lower on a year-over-year basis.

The median sale price for existing-homes in the U.S. fell 1.6 percent from $199,500 in October to $196,300 in November but remains up 9.4 percent year-over-year. The median was up 12.8 percent on a year-over-year basis in October. Distressed sales in November accounted for 14 percent of sales volume, unchanged from October and down from 24 percent in November 2012.

With 2.09 million homes on the market at the end of November, the inventory of homes for sale is down 0.9 percent from October, down 2.9 percent year-over-year. With the slowdown in sales, the current inventory represents a 5.1-month supply of homes, up from a 4.9-month supply in October and a 4.8-month supply at the same time last year. On a national level, around six months of inventory has historically been considered to be a "balanced" market.

Having dropped a seasonally adjusted 8.5 percent from October to November, existing home sales in the West are down 10.1 percent on a year-over-year basis versus a 13.9 percent drop for recorded homes sales in San Francisco.

First Published: December 19, 2013 9:00 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

The title is very curious. Some number drop for first time since 2011. There are only two data points, 2012 and 2013, since 2011. The emphasize on "for this first time" seems unnecessary.

[Editor’s Note: There have been 29 monthly data points, not two, since the last time the pace was lower on a year-over-year basis.]

Posted by: Wai Yip Tung at December 19, 2013 10:40 AM

^YoY can be measured at multiple dates through the year, typically monthly. It need not be measured only at the end of the year.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at December 19, 2013 10:47 AM

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