Existing home sales decreased 4.9% in January, and the share of sales for first-time buyers continued to disappoint. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported January 2015 total existing home sales at a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.82 million units combined for single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, down from a revised 5.07 million units in December. January existing sales were up 3.2% from the same period a year ago.
Existing sales from the previous month were down in all four regions, ranging from 2.7% in the Midwest to 7.1% in the West. Year-over-year, existing sales were up in all four regions, ranging from 5.6% in the South to 0.9% in the Midwest.
The first-time buyer share decreased to 26% in January, down from 29% in December and 31% in November. This continuing downward trend follows 2014 during which the annual share of first-time buyers fell to its lowest level in nearly three decades. Reports of easing mortgage standards will help first-time buyers, and a full recovery awaits their return to their typical 40% share.
Total housing inventory increased 0.5% in January to 1.87 million existing homes. At the current sales rate, the January 2015 inventory increased to a 4.7-month supply, up from a 4.4-month supply in December. NAR also reported that in January the typical time on the market was 69 days, up from 66 days in December, and slightly up from 67 days during the previous January. NAR reported that 30% of homes sold in January were on the market less than a month, down from 31% in December and 32% in November.
NAR Reports Existing Sales Disappoint | South Salem Real Estate | Bedford New York Real Estate | Bedford NY Homes by Robert Paul Realtor.