Existing-Home Sales Down, But Prices Go Up

Palm Beach County mansion sales rose in January

Palm Beach County mansion sales rose in January

The Columbus Realtors trade association says January sales fell by 12 percent from December, with just over 19 hundred existing homes changing hands. The median existing home price was $240,500, up 5.8% from January 2016 ($227,300).

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At the end of January, total USA housing inventory climbed to 1.52 million existing homes available for sale, a 4.1 percent increase from the previous month, yet it remains 9.5 percent below last year's supply of 1.68 million homes.

In Northeast Ohio, January sales were down 1.5 percent from a year before, based on data compiled earlier this month by the Northern Ohio Regional Multiple Listing Service. The inventory of available properties fell 9.5 percent to 1.52 million, lowest for January since records began in 1999. The amount of inventory has fallen year-over-year for 32 consecutive months. Realtors are reporting an increase in potential buyers over a year ago, but sales didn't keep pace.

Existing home sales declined for a second consecutive month in January, falling 3.2 percent from December to 5.38 million units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Even amid reports that buyer traffic is picking up, sales still lagged last January's pace. In central OH, the average sale price was almost 206 thousand dollars, up 5.8 percent from January of 2017. The average rate for previous year was 3.99 percent. "The underproduction of single-family homes over the last decade has played a predominant role in the current inventory crisis that is weighing on affordability; however, there's hope that the tide is finally turning". "There was a nice jump in new home construction in January and homebuilder confidence is high", he said. "Another month of solid price gains underlines this ongoing trend of strong demand and weak supply", said Yun. "These two factors will hopefully lay the foundation for the building industry to meaningfully ramp up production as this year progresses". Of homes sold in January, 43 percent were on the market for under a month. Less than six months is considered a "seller's market".

News Corp, owner of The Wall Street Journal, also operates Realtor.com under license from the National Association of Realtors.

But limited inventory on the market is driving up home prices at a rapid pace, potentially blocking some would-be buyers.

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