Existing Home Sales – December

Existing home sales which include single-family, townhomes, condos and co-ops rose 1.0% in December to an annual pace of 4.87 million after a decline of 5.9% in November to annual pace of 4.82 million. Total sales are running 0.6% lower than at this time last year.

Here is the link to a detailed report:  EXISTING HOME SALES

For all of 2013, sales rose 9.1% for total sales of 5.09 million. Sales of distressed properties were 14% of total transactions last month unchanged from November; all-cash sales were 32% of all sales in December, also unchanged from November; first-time buyers made
up 27% of sales in December, down from 28% the month before, while investors, who account for a portion of all-cash sales, comprised 21% of total transactions in December up from 19% in November.

The inventory of homes available for sale plunged 9.3% on the month to 1.860 million which represents a 4.6 month-supply at the current sales pace. Tight inventories in many areas are driving prices higher; home prices were up in December from December one year ago with the median price for an existing home gaining 9.9% to $198,000. For all of 2013 median existing home prices gained 11.5% to $197,100.

The housing recovery continued for a second year according to economists at the NAR. Demand remains healthy supported by high affordability and stronger job growth; it appears to be a supply bottleneck that is constraining the market as evidenced by the strongest price appreciation in eight years. Despite some slowing at the end of last year, the outlook for 2014 is positive with economists projecting 5.5 million existing home sales this year.

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