Existing Home Supply Down 40% In Last 6 Months

Existing Home Supply (Jan 2010 - Jan 2011)Home resales rose another 2.7 percent last month, according to the National Association of REALTORS® monthly Existing Home Sales report.

An “existing home” is a home that’s been previously occupied and is not considered new construction.

The number of existing homes sold on a rolling 12-month basis is now at its highest point since May 2010, the month before the federal homebuyer tax credit ended. It’s also up some 40% since July 2010, the month after the tax credit ended.

But that’s not the biggest story in the Existing Home Sales report. The precipitous decline in home inventory deserves more attention.

At the current pace of sales, the complete, national home resale inventory will be sold in 7.6 months. This is close to 5 months faster as compared to last year’s peak, and well below the 2-year home supply average of 9.0 months. There more buyers in the market, it seems, and fewer homes from which they can choose.

Total home resale inventory is down to just 3.38 million homes nationwide — the fewest in 12 months.

There were other interesting statistics in the official Existing Home Sales report, including a break-down of purchases by buyer-type.

  • First-time buyers accounted for 29% of purchases, down from 33% in January
  • Repeat homebuyers accounted for 48% of purchases, up from 47% in January
  • Investors accounted for 23% of of purchases, up from 20% in January

In addition, distressed sales — foreclosures and short sales — made up 37 percent of the market.

Over the next few days, more housing data will hit the wires and it’s expected to show similar strength to January’s Existing Home Sales report. With falling supplies and a growing base of move-up buyers, home prices are expected to rise in the coming months ahead.

Home Supplies Plummet, Putting Pressure On Prices To Rise

Existing Home Supply 2009-2010Existing Home Sales surged 12 percent last month, closing 2010’s housing market with strength. An “existing home” is a home that cannot be categorized as new construction; a resale.

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, seasonally-adjusted, annualized Existing Home Sales figures climbed by more than a half-million units in December as compared to November. It’s the 3rd straight month of home resale improvement nationwide.

Sales volume is now as high as it’s been since May 2010 — just after the federal home buyer tax credit’s expiration.

In addition, the number of months needed to sell the complete, current home inventory at the current pace of sales fell by 1.4 months, tying December for the biggest one-month home supply improvement in 2 years.

It’s yet another signal that the housing market is in recovery. Not that this data should surprise anyone. November’s Pending Home Sales report told us to expect it two weeks ago.

Broken down by buyer-type, home sales split as follows:

  • First-time home buyers : 33% of all sales
  • Repeat buyers : 47% of all sales
  • Real estate investors : 20% of all sales

Cash buyers represented 29 percent of all transaction, down 2 ticks from November. This may suggest that mortgage guidelines are loosening — another sign of economic improvement.

So, take note, home buyers. This spring, along with mortgage rates, home values should rise, too. Expect less “bang for your buck” as the housing recovery takes hold across the nation.

The best deals of the year may be the ones made this month.