Real estate agents and coaches! The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) just released the residential sales numbers on existing homes for November 2017…and the numbers soared some 5.6%. Overall, sales in November 2017 increased 3.8% when compared to sales last year in November 2016. This is the strongest pace of sales growth since December 2006.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, delivered the good news December 20. “Faster economic growth in recent quarters, a booming stock market and continuous job gains are fueling substantial demand for buying a home as 2017 comes to an end. As evidenced by subdued levels of first time buyers and an increased share of cash buyers, move-up buyers with considerable down payments and those with cash made up the bulk of sales activity…”

The median sales price for all housing types (single family homes, condominiums, townhouses, co-ops) was $248,000, up 5.8% from $234,400 in November 2016. November 2017 was the 69th consecutive month of y/y gains.

Inventory for existing homes for sale (1.67M) took another drop of 7.2% from October to November. The number of existing homes for sale is 9.7% lower than last year (1.85M). This is the 30th consecutive month that inventory has fallen. There was a 3.4-month supply of unsold inventory, down from a 4.0-month supply of unsold inventory in November 2016.

Yun said that the average days on the market (DOM) for existing homes for sale was 40 this November, up from 34 DOM in October 2017 but down from 43 DOM in November 2016. Startlingly, 44% of existing homes sold were available on the market for less than a month.

The hottest metros in November 2017 were California metros:
– San Jose – Sunnyvale – Santa Clara
– Vallejo – Fairfield
– San Francisco – Oakland – Hayward
– San Diego – Carlsbad
– Stockton – Lodi

4% of existing home sales in November 2017 were foreclosures (3%) and short sales (1%), down from 6% last year.

Regional sales of existing homes in November 2017 looked like this:
NE +6.7% from 10/17
MW +8.4% from 10/17
S +8.3% from 10/17
W -2.3% from 10/17 but still +2.5% from 11/16

The only other topic discussed in this NAR summary was the tax overhaul. Elizabeth Mendenhall, president of NAR and CEO of RE/MAX Boone Realty said, “Only 6% of homeowners have mortgages exceeding $750,000 (now the allowable mortgage deductible amount) and only 5% pay more than $10,000 in property taxes (now the allowable local/state/property tax deduction amount)…while we’re pleased that important homeownership incentives such as capital gains exclusions survived in conference, additional changes are required to truly incentivize homeownership in the tax code.”

Real estate professionals and consumers alike can thank NAR’s lobbying efforts to achieve the levels of mortgage interest and property tax deductions.

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