Existing home sales dropped in December, snapping a three-month streak of increases. The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) said the month’s sales of pre-owned single-family houses, townhouses, condos, and cooperative apartments fell 4.6 percent from November’s 6.460 million-unit pace to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.18 million in December. From a year-over-year perspective, sales were down 7.1 percent from 6.65 million in December 2020. Even with the year-end slide, sales in 2021, at an apparent 6.12 million units, represented an 8.5 percent increase from 2020. It was the highest annual level since 2006. Analysts substantially overshot with their December estimates. Those polled by Econoday had a consensus forecast of 6.400 million units while Trading Economics reported a consensus of 6.44 million. Single-family home sales dropped 4.3 percent from 5.77 million units in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.52 million, a 6.8 percent year-over-year decline. Condominium and co-op sales slid 7.0 percent from the 710,000-unit level in November and were 9.6 percent lower than in December 2020 at an annual rate of 660,000 units. “December saw sales retreat, but the pullback was more a sign of supply constraints than an indication of a weakened demand for housing,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Sales for the entire year finished strong, reaching the highest annual level since 2006.”
Source: Mortgage News Daily