Sales of Previously Owned Homes Hit 3-Year High

Existing-home sales in November jumped 6% from October to the highest level in three years, according to a new report by the National Association of Realtors.

“Momentum continues to build in the housing market from growing jobs and a bursting out of household formation,” NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said.  

The trade group reported Thursday morning that existing-home sales (including condominiums and cooperatives) rose to a 5.04 million seasonally adjusted annual rate in November from a 4.76 million rate in October. The last time the sales rate exceeded 5 million was in November 2009.

Overall, existing-home sales are up 14.5% from a year ago.

In the Northeast, sales of previously owned homes rose 7% on a seasonally adjusted basis in November after being hit by Hurricane Sandy in October. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, sales fell 8% in Northeast.

Meanwhile, the Realtors reported that all-cash sales accounted for 30% of transactions in November and 22% of sales involved foreclosure or short sales.

“The market share of distressed property sales will fall into the teens next year based on a diminishing number of seriously delinquent loans,” Yun said.

The median sales price of an existing home was $180,600 in November, up 10% from a year ago.