Existing home sales increased again in November, building on the pre-recession levels October sales hit last month. Housing starts dropped this month, but housing completions remain high.
Existing home sales
Total existing home sales increased 0.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.61 million in November, up from a downwardly revised 5.57 million in October. This is the third consecutive month of existing home sales increases. November’s sales pace is now the highest since February 2007 and is 15.4 percent higher than November 2015.
The median existing home price for all housing types was $234,900 in November, up 6.8 percent from the previous year. This marks the 57th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.
Total housing inventory at the end of November dropped 8.0 percent to 1.85 million existing homes available for sale, and is now 9.3 percent lower than the previous year. Total housing inventory has fallen year-over-year for 18 straight months. Unsold inventory is now at a supply of 4.0 months at the current sales pace, down from 4.3 months in October.
First-time home buyers were 32 percent of all sales in November, which is down from 33 percent in October but up from 30 percent in November 2015.
Privately owned housing starts were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,090,000 in November. This is 18.7 percent below the revised October estimate of 1,340,000 and 6.9 percent below the November 2015 rate of 1,171,000.
Single-family housing starts were at a rate of 828,000 in November. This is 4.1 percent below the revised October figure of 863,000.
Privately owned housing completions were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,216,000. This is 15.4 percent above the revised October estimate of 1,054,000 and 25.0 percent above the November 2015 rate of 973,000.
Single-family housing completions were at a rate of 774,000 in November. This is 3.3 percent above the revised October rate of 749,000.