Published: Thu, December 21, 2017
Markets | By Erika Turner

US Existing-Home Sales Jumped in November

US Existing-Home Sales Jumped in November

The year-to-date (Jan. 1 - Nov. 30) statewide median sales price was $250,000, an increase of 5.9 percent from the same period in 2016.November 2017 pending sales increased by 5.6 percent from a year ago to reach 9,945.The months supply of homes for sale dropped 11.1 percent at the end of November to 5.6 months supply. Despite tight supply, 10,719 homes were sold in November, the second highest total for the month on record.

The NAR said sales in the South, which accounts for nearly half of the existing homes sales market, increased 8.3 percent last month.

All regions except for the West saw a jump in sales activity last month. They rose 3.8% on a year-on-year basis in November.

The median existing-home price for all housing types in November was $248,000, up 5.8 percent from November 2016, the 69th straight month of year-over-year gains.

The multi-year streak of rising prices and falling inventories also continued, adding to concerns about affordability for would-be homeowners, the National Association of Realtors said in the monthly report.

Builder confidence in the market for new homes increased five points to 74 in December, the highest report since July 1999, the National Association of Home Builders said Tuesday.

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"Through November, the number of home sales statewide in 2017 has exceeded the best-ever 2016 by 0.6 percent", said Greg Gosselin, broker and owner of Gosselin Realty Group in York and president of the Maine Association of Realtors.

"The fundamentals remain favorable, with mortgage rates still low and the labor market very strong", Mr. Shepherdson said.

"We expect further increases in sales in 2018, although tax reform is likely to modestly reduce demand at the high end (as well as to lower prices for high-priced homes)", he said.

Gosselin said winter sales could be slightly slower, but the season is a good time to buy real estate because fewer homes come onto the market during the holidays.

Distressed sales were 4% of the total for the fourth straight month, but down 2% from a year ago.

Penobscot County home sales were up 7.83 percent to 468 units and the median sales price rose 2.45 percent to $140,000.

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