The South Continued to See Home Sale Gains in November

For the third straight month, November 2016 existing-home sales continued to climb up in the South and Northeast, bringing a positive rise to the national average. Small declines in the Midwest and West were not enough to push the nation into the red, according to the National Association of RealtorsⓇ’ (NAR) monthly report.

Existing-Home Sales

Sales across the nation averaged a 0.7% increase from October. This November’s sales pace was a whopping 15.4% above this time last year, surpassing recent months as the highest pace since February 2007. Existing-home sales in the South increased 1.4% for the month to an annual rate of 2.22 million, now 11.6% above November 2015. Locally, Beverly-Hanks reported in our Q3 Market Report an existing-homes sale increase of 4.4% YOY.

NAR’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun, says the last three months have been an outstanding stretch for the real estate industry:

“The healthiest job market since the Great Recession and the anticipation of some buyers to close on a home before mortgage rates accurately rose from their historically low level have combined to drive sales higher in recent months.” 

Existing-home sales, Nov 2015 vs Nov 2016

Median Home Prices

Home prices also continue to climb steadily year over year. The U.S. November median existing-home price for all housing types (single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops) was $234,900, a 6.8% increase from November 2015 ($220,000). November now marks the 57th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.

Regionally, the median price in the South was $206,900, up 9.2% from one year ago. Locally, Beverly-Hanks reported in our Q3 Market Report a median regional sales price of $226,700, up 5.9% from $214,000 in Q3 2015.




Median Home Price

(Nov. 2016)

Median Price Increase

(Nov. 2015 to Nov. 2016)








$226,700 (Q3)

+5.9% (Q3)


Median home sales, Nov 2015 vs Nov 2016

Housing Inventory

The tight housing market was reflected in November’s total housing inventory, which declined a significant 8.0% in November. Housing inventory is now at a 9.3% shortfall from November 2015. This is the 18th consecutive month of year-over-year declines in inventory. Properties on the market sold in an average of 43 days during this period.

Housing supply has been inadequate all year, which does not bode well for buyers in 2017—especially first-time homebuyers. Yun said, “Rental units are also seeing this shortage. As a result, both home prices and rents continue to far outstrip incomes in much of the country.” He continued:

“First-time buyers in higher priced cities will be most affected by rising prices and mortgage rates next year and will likely have to stretch their budget or make compromises on home size, price, or location.”

Mortgage Rates

According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage inched up again in November. Rates are now 3.77% compared to 3.47% in October. The average commitment rate for all of 2015 was 3.85%.

NAR President William E. Brown says consumers looking to buy in 2017 should find a REALTOR®, seek a preapproval from a lender, and start their home search now.

“It’s never too early to begin viewing listings online and in person with a REALTOR® to identify what’s available within the budget and where. There are fewer available homes during the winter months but also fewer buyers. With mortgage rates and prices expected to increase as the year goes on, the first few months of 2017 could be an opportune time to close on a home.”


Read more about existing-home sales on NAR. Locally, homes sales are mirroring many of the national trends. View the Beverly-Hanks Quarterly Market Report to see how home sales are growing in your community.


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