Real Estate Weekly
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Residential

National home sales numbers head south

US home-sale prices increased 3.3 percent year over year to a median of $298,800 in November, according to Redfin, the online brokerage.

November marked the third straight month of annual home price gains under four percent after a 77-month-long streak of annual home price gains exceeding four percent.

“The tide has turned,” said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. “Sellers are now competing for buyers, but they haven’t all realized it yet.

“Sellers who have adjusted their price expectations downward are still finding plenty of willing buyers. Sellers holding out for high prices are contributing to declining home sales and growing inventories. We see few signs that buyers are likely to reward their patience.”

The number of completed home sales fell faster than it has in over two years, down 8.3 percent from November 2017. Home sales declined in 65 of the 74 largest metro areas that Redfin tracks.

The only metro areas that saw more than a five percent year-over-year increase in sales in November were New Orleans (+9.4 percent), Tampa (+7.2 percent), Long Island (+7.1 percent), and Orlando (+6.5 percent).

Mortgage rates, which were a full point higher in November 2018 (4.9 percent) than the 2012-2017 average (3.9 percent), may be putting a damper on sales.

As home sales continue to decline, the number of homes on the market is on the rise, shifting the balance of supply and demand back toward buyers’ favor.

The number of homes for sale in November was up 4.9 percent from a year earlier. This was the highest level of inventory growth since June 2015, and the eighth straight month that the year-over-year figure increased.

This November, 19 percent of homes sold above the list price, down from 22.2 percent last November.

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