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Existing-home sales dip for 11th month, but NAR sees light

Existing-home sales fell 1.5 percent nationally between November and December while plunging 34 percent from December 2021, according to data released Friday by the National Association of Realtors.

Existing-home sales fell for the 11th month in a row in December, with sales falling in three out of four U.S. regions tracked.

Sales of existing homes fell 1.5 percent nationally between November and December, and dropped 34 percent from December 2021 levels, according to data released Friday by the National Association of Realtors.

Existing-home sales totaled 5.03 million for all of 2022, according to the NAR, down 17.8 percent from 2021 due to the dramatic slowdown in the housing market brought on by high-interest rates. 2022 saw the median home sale price climb 2.3 percent to $366,900.

While existing-home sales continue to drop, NAR officials said they expect them to pick up soon as mortgage interest rates have slid down from their 2o22 peak.

“December was another difficult month for buyers, who continue to face limited inventory and high mortgage rates,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement. “However, expect sales to pick up again soon since mortgage rates have markedly declined after peaking late last year.”

The total housing inventory registered at the end of December was 970,000 units, down 13.4 percent from November but up 10.2 percent from a year ago as houses sit on the market for longer due to decreased demand. The amount of unsold inventory represents a supply of 2.9 months at the current sales pace, according to the NAR.

Properties typically remained on the market for 26 days in December, up from 24 days in November.

The Northeast saw sales slip by 1.9 percent between November and December to an annual rate of 520,000 down 28.8 percent from a year ago. Sales in the South fell by 2.2 percent monthly to an annual rate of 1.80 million, a 33.1 percent decrease from the previous year.

Existing sales in the Midwest fell 1 percent to an annual rate of 1.01 million in December, which was 30.3 percent lower than their December 2021 levels. Sales in the West were unchanged from the previous month but were down 43.4 percent from the previous year.

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