Existing homes sales have returned to their strong upward trend in November, after a pause in October. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported a 5.6% increase to 4.68 million (seasonally adjusted annual rate – SAAR) in November, following a 2.2% decline in October. This returns home sales the recovery path begun with strong gains in August and September. Overall, from their low of 3.84 million units in July, existing home sales have gained 22%. However, year-over-year, existing homes sales are still 28% below the cyclical peak of 6.49 million in November 2009.
The strong growth was driven by single family home sales, which rose 6.7% to 4.15 million units (SAAR). Condominium and coop sales slipped, falling 1.9% to 530,000. The growth in existing home sales was consistent across the regions, with sales increasing 11.7% in the West, expanding 6.4%in the Midwest, up 2.9% in the South and rising 2.7% in the Northeast.
The NAR suggest that “…. the market is recovering and we should trend up to a healthy sustainable level in 2011.” While they note that the mortgage interest rates have ticked up in recent weeks, with the Freddie Mac national average commitment rate for a 30-year conventional fixed rate mortgage rising 7 basis points to 4.30% in the past month, the National Association of Realtors advise that “… overall conditions remain extremely favorable for buyer who can obtain credit ….” and “ …. buyers will enjoy favorable conditions into the new year ….”