Note: November 2020 data below are the most recent released by the National Association of Realtors.
Existing-home sales fell in November, snapping a five-month streak of month-over-month gains, according to the National Association of Realtors®. All major regions either took a step back or held steady in terms of their respective month-over-month status, but each of the four areas experienced significant year-over-year growth.
Total existing-home sales (transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops) decreased 2.5% from October to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 6.69 million in November. However, sales in total rose year-over-year, up 25.8% from a year ago (5.32 million in November 2019).
The median existing-home price for all housing types in November was $310,800, up 14.6% from November 2019 ($271,300), as prices increased in every region. November's national price increase marks 105 straight months of year-over-year gains.
Total housing inventory at the end of November totaled 1.28 million units, down 9.9% from October and down 22% from one year ago (1.64 million). Unsold inventory sits at an all-time low 2.3-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 2.5 months in October and down from the 3.7-month figure recorded in November 2019.
Properties typically remained on the market for 21 days in November, seasonally even with October and down from 38 days in November 2019. Seventy-three percent of homes sold in November 2020 were on the market for less than a month.
"The positive momentum that home sellers are seeing will carry on well into the new year," Yun predicted, citing low mortgage rates and remote-work flexibilities.
"Housing affordability, which had greatly benefitted from falling mortgage rates, are now being challenged due to record-high home prices," Yun said. "That could place strain on some potential consumers, particularly first-time buyers."
First-time buyers were responsible for 32% of sales in November, equal to the percentage seen in both October 2020 and November 2019. NAR's 2020 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers revealed that the annual share of first-time buyers was 31%.
Individual investors or second-home buyers, who account for many cash sales, purchased 14% of homes in November, identical to the share recorded in October 2020 and a small decline from 16% in November 2019. All-cash sales accounted for 20% of transactions in November, up from 19% in October but unchanged from November 2019.