US existing home sales increase for second month

Sales of existing homes in the United States increased in November, the second consecutive gain.

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The 1.9% increase from October took sales to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.32 million in November, still 7% below a year earlier (5.72 million in November 2017).

“The market conditions in November were mixed, with good signs of stabilizing home sales compared to recent months, though down significantly from one year ago. Rising inventory is clearly taming home price appreciation,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors.

Prices continued to rise – for the 81st straight month – with the median existing-home price for all housing types up 4.2% year-over-year to $257,700.

The only region to post a decline in sales month-over-month was the West.

“A marked shift is occurring in the West region, with much lower sales and very soft price growth,” says Yun. “It is also the West region where consumers have expressed the weakest sentiment about home buying, largely due to lack of affordable housing inventory.”

Properties typically stayed on the market for 42 days in November, up from 36 days in October and 40 days a year ago.

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