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ME home sales on track for record high year

ME home sales on track for record high year

All regions except for the West saw a jump in sales activity last month.

The total housing inventory fell 7.2% to 1.7 million homes available for sale, 9.7% lower than last November and the 30th consecutive month of year-over-year decline.

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.

"The greater home sales will stoke the fires for stronger economic growth next year as consumers spend more to furnish their new homes with new appliances and furniture and all the decorations and trimmings", said Chris Rupkey, chief economist MUFG in NY.

"The near-record number of home sales in November continues to show that buyer enthusiasm remains strong even in the face of ongoing price growth", said Duncan R. MacKenzie, CEO of the New York State Association of REALTORS. The median sale price for those homes rose 4.2 percent to $200,000 from November 2016. The median existing home price was $248,000, up 5.8% from November 2016 ($234,400).

Looking at other details in the report, total months of supply dropped to 3.4, lowest in the history of the series dating back to 1999.

"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. All-cash sales rose marginally, to 22 percent, up from 20 percent in October.

First-time buyers were 29 percent of sales in November, which is down from 32 percent in both October and a year ago, the NAR report said.

The hottest metro areas in November were San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.; Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif.; San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif.; San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif.; and Stockton-Lodi, Calif.

Existing-home sales moved higher for the third straight month in November and reached their strongest pace in nearly 11 years, while new construction of single family homes surged to a 10-year high, according to two new reports.

Economists had forecast home sales rising 0.9% to a 5.52-million-unit rate in November from a previously reported 5.48-million-unit pace in October.

Sales rose last month in the Northwest, Midwest and South.

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