January 23, 2014

Existing-home sales up slowly in December

Jan. 24, 2014 – Existing-home sales went up just 1 percent across the country in December, which NAFCU Research Assistant Doug Christman attributed to rising mortgage rates, limited housing inventory and tighter credit restricting sales.

Christman, in a Macro Data Flash, provides analysis of data from the National Association of Realtors. "Year-over-year median home prices continue to rise as housing inventory remains tight and the number of distressed homes on the market decrease," Christman wrote. "Overall, 2013 had the strongest sales in seven years, and the housing market is expected to remain a key driver of economic growth in 2014."

The median existing-home price went up from a revised $195,500 in November to $198,000 (not seasonally adjusted) in December. Last December, it was $180,200.

Sales went up in two out of four regions, increasing the most in the West (4.8 percent), and decreasing the most in the Midwest (down 4.3 percent). Year over year, the South had the strongest increase (4.6 percent), and the West saw the worst year-over-year decrease (down 10.7 percent).