Existing home sales rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.79 million in October, a 10.9 percent increase over October 2011 according to data released by the National Association of Realtors on November 19th. The median national existing home sale price was $178,600, 11.1 percent higher than last year. The median price in the West was $242,100, up 21.2 percent from the prior year. NAR attributes this increase to limited inventory.
According to Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist, each one percent increase in the median home price reflects $190 billion appreciation in home equity. Yun predicts, at present rate of increases, home equity appreciation could approach $1 trillion next year.
Foreclosures and short sales accounted for 24 percent of October sales. Foreclosures sold at an average of 20 percent below market value, and short sales averaged a 14 percent discount. Inventory declined slightly from September to October. Only one additional day’s difference in time on market (70 versus 71) was reported from September to October.
Sales in the Northeast fell slightly (1.7 percent) but are still up significantly (13.7 percent) from one year ago.