U.S. Existing Home Sales Unexpectedly Rebound After Five Straight Monthly Declines

After reporting five consecutive monthly declines in U.S. existing home sales, the National Association of Realtors released a report on Wednesday showing existing home sales unexpectedly rebounded in the month of November.

NAR said existing home sales climbed by 0.8 percent to an annual rate of 3.82 million in November after plunging by 4.1 percent to a rate of 3.79 million in October.

The increase surprised economists, who had expected existing home sales to dip by another 0.5 percent to an annual rate of 3.77 million.

“The latest weakness in existing home sales still reflects the buyer bidding process in most of October when mortgage rates were at a two-decade high before the actual closings in November,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “A marked turn can be expected as mortgage rates have plunged in recent weeks.”

The unexpected rebound largely reflected strength in the South, where existing home sales spiked by 4.7 percent during the month.

Existing home sales in the Midwest also jumped by 1.1 percent, while existing home sales in the Northeast tumbled by 2.1 percent and existing home sales in the West plunged by 7.2 percent.

The report also said total housing inventory at the end of November was 1.13 million units, down 1.7 percent from 1.15 million units in October but up 0.9 percent from 1.12 million units a year ago.

The unsold inventory represents 3.5 months of supply at the current sales pace, down from 3.6 months in October but up from 3.3 months in November 2022.

NAR also said the median existing home price for all housing types was $387,600 in November, reflecting an increase of 4.0 percent from $372,700 in the same month last year.

On Friday, the Commerce Department is scheduled to release a separate report on new home sales in the month of November.

Economists currently expect new home sales to climb to an annual rate of 685,000 in November after plunging to a rate of 679,000 in October.

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