Existing-Home Sales Tick Up 0.6% in January


Washington, D.C., Feb. 19, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) —

Key Highlights

  • Existing-home sales continued to increase in January to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 6.69 million, up 0.6% from the prior month and 23.7% from one year ago.
  • The median existing-home sales price rose to $303,900, 14.1% higher from one year ago.
  • As of the end of January, housing inventory fell to a record-low of 1.04 million units, down by 25.7% year-over-year – a record decline.

 

WASHINGTON (February 19, 2021) – Existing-home sales rose in January, marking two consecutive months of growth, according to the National Association of Realtors®. From a month-over-month perspective, buying activity varied in the major regions. Year-over-year, all four areas recorded double-digit gains in January.

Total existing-home sales,1 https://www.nar.realtor/existing-home-sales, completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 0.6% from December to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 6.69 million in January. Sales in total climbed year-over-year, up 23.7% from a year ago (5.41 million in January 2020).

“Home sales continue to ascend in the first month of the year, as buyers quickly snatched up virtually every new listing coming on the market,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Sales easily could have been even 20% higher if there had been more inventory and more choices.”

The median existing-home price2 for all housing types in January was $303,900, up 14.1% from January 2020 ($266,300), as prices increased in every region. January’s national price jump marks 107 straight months of year-over-year gains.

Whereas much of the economy has suffered due to COVID-19, the housing sector has been one of the few bright spots, according to Yun. In NAR’s latest quarterly report, released last week, home prices in every tracked U.S. metro area increased during the fourth quarter of 2020.

“Home sales are continuing to play a part in propping up the economy,” Yun said. “With additional stimulus likely to pass and several vaccines now available, the housing outlook looks solid for this year.”

Yun says he expects more jobs to return, which will spur homebuying in the coming months. He predicts existing-home sales will reach at least 6.5 million in 2021, even as he says mortgage rates are likely to inch higher due to the rising budget deficit and higher inflation. 

Total housing inventory3 at the end of January amounted to 1.04 million units, down 1.9% from December and down 25.7% from one year ago (1.40 million). Unsold inventory sits at a 1.9-month supply at the current sales pace, equal to December’s supply and down from the 3.1-month amount recorded in January 2020. NAR first began tracking the single-family home supply in 1982.

Properties typically remained on the market for 21 days in January, seasonally even with December and down from 43 days in January 2020. Seventy-one…



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