U.S. home sales down, but moderating

A monthly survey of 54 metropolitan areas found sales in November dipped 4.9% below those in September and 25.9% below sales in November 2009. The median home price surpassed US$210,000 in July, but has since fallen to roughly US$195,000, a 1.7% decline from last year.

“While home sales usually decline in the winter months, we are seeing a larger than normal correction this winter due to several artificial factors like the expired tax credit,” Re/Max CEO Margaret Kelly said in a news release published Dec. 17. “Despite predictions about falling home prices, they appear to be remaining stable with several markets reporting significant price increases over last year.”

Existing home sales dropped below what analysts expected in October to an estimated 4.43 million for 2011. But many sales during that month were delayed and pushed forward into November, according to TD Economics.

“The number of single-family and condo homes changing hands are expected to rise in the month as sales activity regain some of the ground surrendered during the summer slump. Pending home sales were quite strong in October, posting its first double-digit advance in many years, and we expect this strong bounce-back in pending sales to be reflected in actual home sales in November,” TD Economics stated in a new release published Dec. 17.

TD Economics now forecasts annual home sales will be 4.8 million.

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