Existing Home Sales Fell in December and Supply Remains Extremely Tight

Sales of existing homes decreased 6.0 percent in December, to a 6.10 million seasonally adjusted annual rate. Sales are down 8.3 percent from a year ago.

Sales in the market for existing single-family homes, which account for about 89 percent of total existing-home sales, dropped 5.9 percent in December, coming in at a 5.44 million seasonally adjusted annual rate (see first chart). From a year ago, sales are down 8.1 percent.

Condo and co-op sales fell 7.0 percent for the month, leaving sales at a 660,000 annual rate for the month versus 710,000 in November (see first chart). From a year ago, condo and co-op sales were off 9.6 percent.

The dominant single-family segment saw sales decline in all four regions. Sales fell 6.8 percent in the West, 7.5 percent in the South, the largest region by volume, 1.6 percent in the Northeast, the smallest region by volume, and 4.2 percent in the Midwest. Sales are also down in all four regions measured from a year ago (-17.3 percent in the Northeast, -5.5 percent in the Midwest, -9.8 percent in the West, and -6.0 percent in the South).

Condo and coop sales were down in two regions in December, -20.0 percent in the West and -5.9 percent in the South but were unchanged in the Northeast and the Midwest.  From a year go, sales are off in three regions and unchanged in the Midwest.

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