Existing Home Sales jumped another 6 percent in November, the report’s third month of improvement since bottoming in July.
According to the National Association of REALTORS®, a quarter-million more existing homes were sold during the annual period ending in November as compared to October. An “existing home” is a home that cannot be considered new construction.
Additionally, the national housing supply dropped by a full month. At the current pace of existing home sales, the complete stock of homes for sale will be exhausted in 9.5 months.
November’s strong housing data is yet another signal to buyers that the housing market’s foundation has been rebuilt, and that a rebound is imminent. It’s helped that there are great “deals” on which for buyers to pounce.
In November, short sales and foreclosures accounted for one-third of all existing homes sold, and carried an average price discount of 10 percent and 15 percent, respectively, as compared to non-distressed sales.
Repeat buyers continue to power the market, too, representing more than half of all home buyers.
- First-time buyers : 32% of all buyers
- Investors : 19% of all buyers
- Repeat buyers : 51% of all buyers
This breakdown suggests that housing has regained its footing. First-time buyers can’t support a market long-term like repeat buyers can and, as compared to 12 months ago, the percentage of repeat buyers is now up 14 points.
Home buyers take note. Raw sales volume is rising and available inventory is dropping. Basic supply-and-demand tells us that this will lead home prices higher. Furthermore, mortgage rates are rising quickly, increasing the cost of homeownership.
If buying a home is a part of your plan for 2011, consider accelerating your purchase time frame. Existing homes account for more than 80% of homes sold nationwide. If the market keeps improving like this, your home affordability will worsen.