A recent report issued by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has indicated that home sales at the beginning of the year were relatively steady overall in most regions with only declines seen in the West. The total existing home sales of townhomes, single-families, condos and coops had dipped by just 1% overall as a result of the slipping sales in the West. However, total sales are significantly up by 9.6% over this time last year. It is good to see these positive statistics for the start of the year where we can be hopeful for what is to come once we get past the current crisis.
Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, finds the outlook for 2020 home sales promising despite the drop in January. “Existing-home sales are off to a strong start at 5.46 million.” Yun said. “The trend line for housing starts is increasing and showing steady improvement, which should ultimately lead to more home sales.”
Home prices have not stopped their steady incline with January marking the 95th straight month of increases. The median home price has continued to show gains in all regions across the country and is up by 6.8% over January of 2019.
The housing inventory is at its lowest point in over 20 years since the year 1999. The amount of available inventory is down by 10.7% from one year ago at this time with unsold inventory only being at a 3.1 month supply at the current pace.
Days on Market
Properties were on the market for an average of 43 days during January. This figure is up from 41 days in December, but down from the 49 days seen in January of last year. Forty two percent of homes that had sold in January were on the market for less than one month.
The average mortgage rates were lower than last year at the same time. The average commitment rate for a 30 year loan per Freddie Mac was 3.62% in January. Last year this figure was 4.46% at the same time.