November existing home sales fall for 10th consecutive month

NAR reports 7.7% month-over-month decline and 35.4% year-over-year decline to 4.09 million units

WASHINGTON — Month-over-month existing home sales fell 7.7% in November, the 10th consecutive drop recorded by the National Association of Realtors. Year-over-year sales decreased 35.4% from November 2021.

Total existing home sales dropped to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.09 million units, and year-over-year sales were down from 6.33 million units in November 2021. All four major regions of the U.S. had month-over-month and year-over-year declines. The figures include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops.

“In essence, the residential real estate market was frozen in November, resembling the sales activity seen during the COVID-19 economic lockdowns in 2020,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the NAR. “The principal factor was the rapid increase in mortgage rates, which hurt housing affordability and reduced incentives for homeowners to list their homes.”

He added that available housing inventory remains near historic lows, with the total housing inventory at the end of November at 1.14 million units, down 6.6% from October and up 2.7% from November 2021. The unsold inventory was at a 3.3-month supply based on the current sales pace, which the NAR said was the same as October, but up from 2.1 months in November 2021.

The NAR also said that the median price for all types of existing homes was $370,000, up 3.5% from the $358,000 reported for November 2021, with prices rising in all four major regions of the U.S. The NAR said this was the 129th consecutive month of year-over year increases, which it said is the longest running streak on record.

First-time buyers, the NAR noted, were responsible for 28% of sales in November, unchanged from October, but up from 26% in November 2021. Meanwhile, all-cash sales accounted for 26% of transactions in November, which was the same as October, but up 24% from November 2021.

Individual investors or second-home buyers representing mostly cash sales, purchased 14% of the existing homes sold in November, down from 16% in October and 15% in November 2021.

Thirty-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 6.31% as of Dec. 15, according to Freddie Mac, which was down slightly from 6.33% the previous week but up from 3.12% a year ago.

“The market may be thawing since mortgage rates have fallen for five straight weeks,” Yun said. “The average monthly mortgage payment is now almost $200 less than it was several weeks ago when interest rates reached their peak for this year.”

Other highlights of the report were as follows:

+ Single-family home sales fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.65 million in November, which was down 7.6% from 3.95 million in October and 35.2% from November 2021. The median existing single-family home price was reported at $376,700 in November, up 3.2% from November 2021.

+ Existing condominium and co-op sales totaled 440,000 units in November, down 8.3% from October and 37.1% from November 2021. The median price was $321,600 in November, up 5.8% from November 2021.

+ Existing home sales in the Northeast fell 7% from October to an annual rate of 530,000 and 28.4% from November 2021. The median price was $394,700, up 3.5% from last November.

+ Existing home sales in the Midwest fell 5.6% from October to an annual rate of 1.02 million units in November and fell 30.6% from November 2021. The median home price was $268,600, up 3.9% from November 2021.

+ Home sales in the South fell 7.1% in November to an annual rate of 1.84 million units in November and were down 35% from the previous year. The median price in the region was $340,100, up 4.4% from November 2021.

+ In the West, home sales fell 12.5% from October to an annual rate of 700,000 units in November and were down 45.7% from November 2021. The median price was $569,800, up 2% from November 2021.

Thomas Russell

Home News Now Editor-in-Chief Thomas Russell has covered the furniture industry for 25 years at various daily and weekly consumer and trade publications. He can be reached at and at 336-508-4616.

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