US Existing-Home Sales Jumped in November

Home Sales at 11-Year High Stateside

Real estate agents across the state sold 1,576 homes in November, an increase of 11.5 percent from a year earlier, according to a report issued Wednesday by Maine Listings.

The US housing market continued to boom in November, with existing home sales rising for the third straight month to the highest level in almost 11 years, according to data released Wednesday.

Existing home sales in the USA grew in the month of November on a sequential basis.

"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.

All regions except for the West saw a jump in sales activity last month.

On the surge last month, he said, "Presumably, part of this leap in sales is a catch-up after closings were delayed by the hurricanes, but the lagged mortgage applications numbers now suggest sales will rise even further in the early part of next year, perhaps reaching six million", he said in a client note. The median existing home price was $248,000, up 5.8% from November 2016 ($234,400). The year-to-date (Jan. 1 - Nov. 30) sales total of 122,238 was 2.5-percent above the same period last year.The November 2017 statewide median sales price was $254,000, an increase of 5.8 percent from the November 2016 median of $240,000. According to Yun, these rising prices, coupled with increasing mortgage rates, could pose an affordability problem for many buyers come 2018.

"With low unemployment rates, favorable demographics and a tight supply of existing-home inventory, we can expect continued upward movement of the single-family construction sector next year", said NAHB chief economist Robert Dietz.

"Through November, the number of home sales statewide in 2017 has exceeded the best-ever 2016 by 0.6 percent", said Greg Gosselin, broker and owner of Gosselin Realty Group in York and president of the Maine Association of Realtors.

First-time buyers were 29 percent of sales in November, which is down from 32 percent in both October and a year ago, the NAR report said.

Penobscot County home sales were up 7.83 percent to 468 units and the median sales price rose 2.45 percent to $140,000. Sales in the Northeast were particularly strong, up 6.7 percent in November, with the median price up 4 percent to $273,600.

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