Existing-home sales continue to strengthen


Sales of previously owned homes increased for the third straight month in November to the highest level in almost 11 years, a new report showed on Wednesday.

There were 10,719 closed home sales across New York State during November, representing the second-highest total on record for the month, according to the housing market report released today by the New York State Association of REALTORS.

The median seasonally adjusted price of existing homes sold in November touched a new all-time high of $255,000, up 1.2 percent from October and up 5.8 percent over the year.

"It is highly likely that existing sales would have been much stronger in 2017 if supply had been more abundant", said Nationwide chief economist David Berson.

On a more cautious note, Yun also said: "The anticipated rise in mortgage rates next year could further cut into affordability if these staggeringly low supply levels persist". The median sales price was up 4.24 percent to $200,000. Sales of single-family structures recorded another month of strong growth, which rose 4.5 percent. The median indicates that half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

The biggest overhaul of the tax system in more than 30 years, which could be signed into law by President Donald Trump soon, will cap the deduction for mortgage interest at $750,000 in home loan value for residences bought from January 1, 2018, through December 31, 2025.

There was a 3.4-month supply of homes on the market at the end of the month, the lowest in records that go back to 1999.

Total housing inventory at the end of November dropped 7.2 percent, to 1.67 million existing homes available for sale, NAR said. Year-over-year, single-family home sales have been flat in the West while condo/coop sales are up 16.7 percent.

Despite the recent gains, home resales remain constrained by a chronic shortage of houses at the lower end of the market, which is keeping prices elevated and sidelining some first-time buyers, who accounted for 29 percent of transactions last month. Sales activity was up significantly in all regions, except for the West, where sales declined month over month in November but were still ahead of the pace set a year earlier. In contrast, annual wage growth has struggled to break above 2.9 percent since the 2007/09 recession ended.

Sales of previously owned US homes rose in November to the strongest pace in more than a decade, a sign of solid momentum in the housing sector as 2017 draws to a close. Housing completions continued to lag at a rate of 1.116 million units. Inventories are another major issue, particularly for starter homes.