November Home Sales Increased Slightly

Ten-X has released its latest Ten-X Residential Real Estate Nowcast which indicates existing home sales will increase slightly in November. According to the nowcast, November sales will hit a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) between 5.32 and 5.61 million with a targeted number of 5.50 million, up 0.3 percent from NAR’s reported October sales.

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“Both October and November existing home sales figures have probably been distorted a bit by the hurricanes that impacted real estate transactions in Florida and Texas,” said Ten-X Executive Vice President Rick Sharga. “At least part of the reason November sales appear to be higher is that sales activity has improved significantly across the South, which represents about 40% of home sales, after a temporary dip due to the storms. But it seems unlikely that home sales will carry this momentum into the new year unless inventory levels improve dramatically.”

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Last month, the Ten-X Nowcast projected home sales to hover near their current level amid a shortage of inventory and related affordability constraints. That prediction was confirmed by the recent National Association of Realtors® (NAR®) release, which showed that total existing-home sales rose to a 5.48 million SAAR in October, up 2 percent from a downwardly revised 5.37 million in September, but still 0.9 percent below the year-ago level.

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Last month’s Ten-X Nowcast also predicted another solid annual gain in existing home prices, which was confirmed by the NAR report, as the median existing-home price for all housing types rose 5.5 percent from a year ago to $247,000 in October. This marks the 68th consecutive month of year-over-year gains as tight inventory continues to drive ample price gains. The November Ten-X Residential Real Estate Nowcast predicts that median existing home prices will continue to make annual strides falling between $234,440 and $259,118 with a target price point of $246,779, up 0.1 percent from October and 5.1 percent from last year.

“While the combination of a firm labor market and low mortgage rates has certainly strengthened home buying demand, the housing market continues to face a number of challenges, most notably inventory constraints that are exacerbated by rising homeowner tenure, fewer foreclosures and elevated construction costs,” said Ten-X Chief Economist Peter Muoio. “Moving into 2018, the looming potential for higher mortgage rates and tax reform, which may include a revision of the mortgage interest deduction and the elimination of private activity bonds, could present further obstacles.”

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