Existing home sales fell in November, declining by 1.7% to an annualized pace of 5.35 million following a 1.5% gain in October to an annual rate of 5.44 million. Even with the decline, existing home sales continue to trend modestly higher, remaining 2.7% above November 2018 levels.
Regionally, sales were mixed with gains of 1.4% in the Northeast and 2.3% in the Midwest and declines of 3.9% and 3.5% in the South and the West. The inventory of homes available for sale plunged 7.3% in November from October to an annual rate of 1.640 million which represents just a 3.7-month supply at the current sales pace.
Inventories are down 5.7% from November of last year. House prices shot higher over the past year amid tight supply; the annual gain in the median price for an existing home rose 5.4% in November to $271,300.
Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said the decline in sales for November is not a cause for worry. “Sales will be choppy when inventory levels are low, but the economy is otherwise performing very well with more than 2 million job gains in the past year.”