Existing Home Sales Rise to Highest January Rate Since 2005

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Sales of previously occupied homes in the United States rose in January to a seasonally adjusted, annualized rate of 6.69 million units, according to the National Association of Realtors.

That is the second-highest rate of sales on record for January, typically a slow month for home sales, and the highest since 2005.  It is 23.7 percent higher compared with a year ago and 0.6 percent higher than a month earlier. And it is the second-highest sales pace since April 2006.

“Home sales are continuing to play a part in propping up the economy,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the NAR. “With additional stimulus likely to pass and several vaccines now available, the housing outlook looks solid for this year.”

Economists had forecast s decline after a much better than expected December. December was revised down.

The supply of homes on the market is very low at just 1.04 million, down almost 26 percent year-over-year in January.

This combination of still rising demand and low supply is pushing prices sky-high. The median price of an existing home sold in January was $303,900, a 14.1 percent increase from January 2020. That is the highest January price that the NAR has ever recorded.

Homes are selling extraordinarily quickly. On average, an existing home sold in 21 days in January. A year ago, homes averaged 43 days on th market.

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