Home sales surged across the country in November, reaching the strongest pace in nearly 11 years, according to the latest monthly report from the National Association of Realtors. However, sales slowed in Western states. Locally, sales volume also fell in NoPho, according to the previously reported monthly analysis from North Phoenix News and In&Out Magazine.
Prices continued a long-running upward climb locally and across the country.
Nationally, existing home sales, including single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, jumped 5.6 percent in November compared to October, NAR reported today. The median existing-home price was $248,000 in November, up 5.8 percent from November 2016. That’s the 69th straight month of year-over-year gains.
Sales volume in the West — Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming — declined 2.3 percent from October but was 2.5 percent above last year. The median price in the West was $375,100, up 8.2 percent from November 2016. Much of the activity in the west, and the highest prices, are in urban areas of California.
In NoPho—the I-17 corridor between Norterra and New River—the average sales price in November was up in all five zones. Details:
A tight supply of homes for sale continues to push prices up. Unsold inventory is at a 3.4-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from 4.0 months a year ago. Supplies are considerably tighter in some NoPho zones.
Less than 6 months is considered a “seller’s market.”
What’s Going On
“Faster economic growth in recent quarters, the booming stock market and continuous job gains are fueling substantial demand for buying a home as 2017 comes to an end,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “As evidenced by a subdued level of first-time buyers and increased share of cash buyers, move-up buyers with considerable down payments and those with cash made up a bulk of the sales activity last month.”
The near future doesn’t look bright for first-time homebuyers and those looking at homes in lower price ranges. Other recent studies have noted a growing affordability gap as the rise in home prices outpaces wage increases.
“The anticipated rise in mortgage rates next year could further cut into affordability if these staggeringly low supply levels persist,” Yun said. “Price appreciation is too fast in a lot of markets right now. The increase in homebuilder optimism must translate to significantly more new construction in 2018 to help ease these acute inventory shortages.”