Existing home sales drop as inventory remains depressed

Realtors Say Existing Home Sales Plummeted in January

Existing-Home Sales Tumble in January

Sales of existing homes in Northwest Indiana grew in January as compared to a year ago, but not by as much as prices, continuing a trend in the seven counties that make up the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors.

"The utter lack of sufficient housing supply and its influence on higher home prices muted overall sales activity in much of the US last month", said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. This marks the largest annual decline in sales since August 2014's decrease of 5.5 percent and the slowest sales pace since 5.37 million last September.

The median existing-home price for all housing types in January was $240,500, up 5.8 percent from January 2017 ($227,300). At January's sales pace, it would take 3.4 months to exhaust the current inventory. A separate report on January sales of new homes is due out Monday. Inventory is still down 9.5 percent from a year earlier and - according to Zillow data - most of the inventory gains have been among homes priced in the upper third of the market, not entry-level homes. It was the largest month-over-month percent increase in the median price of existing homes sold since February 2015.

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According to the National Trade Association real estate agents are hearing and seeing more interested buyers, but that traffic is not reflecting in sales.

News Corp, owner of The Wall Street Journal, also operates Realtor.com under license from the National Association of Realtors.

Properties averaged about 42 days on the market in January, down from 50 days a year ago, but up from December 2017's 40-day average. Four percent of January sales were foreclosures and 1 percent were short sales.

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"There are a variety of reasons why people buy homes that are completely independent of mortgage rates", Fleming says in First American's monthly Potential Home Sales Model and analysis for January. The median existing single-family home price was $241,700 in January, up 5.7 percent from January 2017. And LaPorte County saw a 7 percent growth in sales to 76, and a 5.3 percent decline in median price to $112,700.

Existing condominium and co-op sales rose 1.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 620,000 units in January, but are still 4.6 percent below a year ago. The total supply of homes for sale fell to 1.52 million last month, the fewest for any January since record keeping began in 1999.

Distressed sales were 5% of the total, unchanged from last month and down 2% from a year ago.

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