Existing Home Sales Plummet By Double Digits In December. NAR Downplays Effect Of Government Shutdown.
Total existing home sales decreased 6.4% from November to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.99 million sales in December. Existing home sales fell a full 10.3% from December 2017’s 5.56 million sales.
This is the first time in three years that existing homes sales slipped below 5 million sales.
NAR President John Smaby tried claimed the partial government shutdown had no effect on the decrease in existing home sales. He also downplayed the effects on the market:
NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun blamed higher interest rates:
This contradicts what the NAR said a few weeks ago and not everyone is quite so optimistic. Trulia Senior Economist Cheryl Young said:
Properties stayed on the market an average of 46 days in December. This is up from 42 days in November and 40 days the year before.
Joel Kan of the Mortgage Bankers Association predicted:
Looking ahead, many potential homebuyers still face affordability challenges, but we do expect this to dissipate slowly, as there have been more signs of moderating home-price growth and accelerating wage growth, which should help bridge the affordability gap.