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Existing-Home Sales Rose 3.1% in January
press release, National Association of Realtors
   

Existing-home sales grew in January, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Among the four major U.S. regions, sales accelerated in the Midwest, South and West, and remained steady in the Northeast. Year-over-year, sales improved in the West, and decreased in the Northeast, Midwest and South.

Total existing-home sales – completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – elevated 3.1% from December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.00 million in January. Year-over-year, sales slipped 1.7% (down from 4.07 million in January 2023).

"While home sales remain sizably lower than a couple of years ago, January's monthly gain is the start of more supply and demand," said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. "Listings were modestly higher, and home buyers are taking advantage of lower mortgage rates compared to late last year."

Total housing inventory registered at the end of January was 1.01 million units, up 2.0% from December and 3.1% from one year ago (980,000). Unsold inventory sits at a 3.0-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 3.1 months in December but up from 2.9 months in January 2023.

The median existing-home price for all housing types in January was $379,100, an increase of 5.1% from one year ago ($360,800). All four U.S. regions posted price increases.

"The median home price reached an all-time high for the month of January," Yun added. "Multiple offers are common on mid-priced homes, and many homes were still sold within a month. The elevated share of cash deals – 32% – indicated a market full of multiple offers and propelled by record-high housing wealth."

REALTORS® Confidence Index

According to the monthly REALTORS® Confidence Index, properties typically remained on the market for 36 days in January, up from 29 days in December and 33 days in January 2023.

First-time buyers were responsible for 28% of sales in January, down from 29% in December and 31% in January 2023. NAR's 2023 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers – released in November 2023 – found that the annual share of first-time buyers was 32%.

All-cash sales accounted for 32% of transactions in January, up from 29% in both December and one year ago.

Individual investors or second-home buyers, who make up many cash sales, purchased 17% of homes in January, up from 16% in December and January 2023.

Distressed sales – foreclosures and short sales – represented 2% of sales in January, virtually unchanged from last month and the previous year.

Mortgage Rates

According to Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.77% as of February 15. That's up from 6.64% the previous week and 6.32% one year ago.

Single-family and Condo/Co-op Sales

Single-family home sales moved higher to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.6 million in January, up 3.4% from 3.48 million in December but down 1.4% from the prior year. The median existing single-family home price was $383,500 in January, up 5.0% from January 2023.

At a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 400,000 units in January, existing condominium and co-op sales were unchanged from last month and down 4.8% from one year ago (420,000 units). The median existing condo price was $339,400 in January, up 5.7% from the previous year ($321,100).

Regional Breakdown

At 480,000 units, existing-home sales in the Northeast were unchanged from December but down 5.9% from January 2023. The median price in the Northeast was $434,300, up 10.1% from the prior year.

In the Midwest, existing-home sales increased 2.2% from one month ago to an annual rate of 950,000 in January, down 3.1% from last year. The median price in the Midwest was $271,700, up 7.6% from January 2023.

Existing-home sales in the South rose 4.0% from December to an annual rate of 1.84 million in January, a decline of 1.6% from the previous year. The median price in the South was $345,100, up 4.1% from one year ago.

In the West, existing-home sales elevated 4.3% from a month ago to an annual rate of 730,000 in January and grew 2.8% from one year earlier. The median price in the West was $572,100, up 6.3% from January 2023.

"More listings will help Americans move," said NAR President Kevin Sears, broker-partner of Sears Real Estate in Springfield, Massachusetts. "That's why NAR has pushed for the passage of H.R. 1321 – The More Homes on the Market Act – which would lower the tax hit on home sales and bring additional inventory to the market."

About NAR

The National Association of REALTORS® is America's largest trade association, representing more than 1.5 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.



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