Existing-home sales revised down 14%
November sales up 4% from October; median price falls to $164,200
By Ruth Mantell, MarketWatch
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — An average of 14% fewer existing homes were sold annually between 2007 and 2010, according to revisions reported Wednesday by the National Association of Realtors, pointing to a housing market that was even weaker than previously believed.
During the revision’s time period, there were average annual sales of about 4.42 million existing homes, compared with prior estimates of about 5.16 million. NAR revised the data to correct for some sampling and data-reporting problems.
From here on, the trade group said, data will be re-benchmarked annually.
The revisions don’t impact prices, NAR said.
Also Wednesday, NAR reported that existing-home sales rose 4% in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.42 million, compared with 4.25 million in the prior month. Sales are up 12.2% from the prior year.
Economists were looking for a gain from the prior month, echoing other recent positive housing-sector data.
On Tuesday, the Commerce Department reported that new construction of houses rose in November to the highest annual rate since April 2010, with multi-family activity leading the monthly U.S. growth. However, overall levels remain low.
The median price of homes sold in November fell 3.5% to $164,200 from the prior year, according to NAR.
Housing inventory in November fell 5.8% to 2.58 million existing homes, a 7-month supply at the current sales prices, compared with a 7.7-month supply in October.