Existing-home sales rose again and remain above a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Also released were periodic benchmark revisions with downward adjustments to sales and inventory data since 2007, led by a decline in for-sale-by-owners.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said more people are taking advantage of the buyer’s market. “Sales reached the highest mark in 10 months and are 34 percent above the cyclical low point in mid-2010 – a genuine sustained sales recovery appears to be developing,” he said. “We’ve seen healthy gains in contract activity, so it looks like more people are realizing the great opportunity that exists in today’s market for buyers with long-term plans.”
According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage fell to a record-low 3.99 percent at the end of 2011. (records date back to 1971)
Total housing inventory at the end of the year fell 5.8 percent to 2.58 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 7.0-month supply at the current sales pace.
Distressed homes – foreclosures and short sales typically sold at deep discounts – accounted for 29 percent of sales in 2011, compared with 33 percent in 2010.
Single-family home sales rose 12.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.95 million in 2011. Existing-home sales in the West rose 3.6 percent.
The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
See full article featured in Realtor.org, "Existing-Home Sales Continue to Climb in November"