Existing-Home Sales in January Slowed by Harsh Weather
Feb 26, 2014
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January 2014 existing-home sales were down to the lowest level since July 2012, according to National Association of Realtors data. Prices are still rising in some parts of the United States on Inventory shortages.
January existing-home sales were down 5.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.62 million, from 4.87 million in December. January 2014 was also 5.1% below a 4.87 million-unit pace in January 2013.
January's pace was the slowest since July 2012, when it stood at 4.59 million.
Existing-home sales are completed transactions for single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops.
"Disruptive and prolonged winter weather patterns across the country are impacting a wide range of economic activity, and housing is no exception,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Some housing activity will be delayed until spring."
Yun added: "At the same time, we can’t ignore the ongoing headwinds of tight credit, limited inventory, higher prices and higher mortgage interest rates. These issues will hinder home sales activity until the positive factors of job growth and new supply from higher housing starts begin to make an impact.”
January 2014's median existing-home price for all housing types was $188,900, up 10.7% from January 2013.
Total housing inventory (existing homes available for sale) at the end of January was up 2.2% to 1.90 million—a 4.9-month supply at the current rate of sales. The inventory was 4.6 months in December.
Unsold inventory was 7.3% above a year ago, when there was a 4.4-month supply. NAR said that a supply of 6.0 months to 6.5 months shows a rough balance between buyers and sellers.
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