Improvements Remain Slow In Housing Market

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ARLINGTON-Existing home sales in November rose by 5.6% to an annualized 4.68 million units, seasonally adjusted, according to NAFCU, but that volume still lags.

In its analysis, NAFCU noted that sales of single-family homes increased by 6.7%, while sales of condominiums fell by 1.9%. Year-over-year, existing home sales were down by 27.9%. NAFCU noted that all four U.S. regions reported sales increases during November, led by the West at 11.7%, followed by the Midwest (6.4%), the South (2.9%), and the Northeast (2.7%).

Year over year, however, sales were down in all four regions, with the biggest decline of 35.1% in the Midwest. NAFCU noted that the months that homes were available for sale declined from 10.5 months of supply in October to 9.5 months of supply in November. The inventory level fell by 4% from October but increased by 5.4% from a year ago, resulting in 3.71 million unsold homes in the market.

"Foreclosure procedure issues that prompted wide-spread moratoriums were likely the cause for the improvement in inventories and prices during the month," NAFCU said in its analysis. "This may prolong the process of the housing market working off the excess inventory and as those foreclosures come back into the market, they will put downward pressure on prices again. Improving consumer confidence and great affordability conditions will support slow improvements in the coming months but the housing markets is unlikely to gain real momentum before the end of next year."

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