Market Overview

Existing Home Sales Hit 10-Year High For December 2015


U.S. existing sales rose nearly 15 percent in December, according to information released Friday by the National Association of Realtors. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of home sales for the year rose to 4.56 million, up from a rate of 4.76 million in November. This was the largest monthly increase the NAR had ever seen, and home sales for the year were the highest since 2006.

Existing-home sales were up 7.7 percent from December 2014. The median existing-home price increased 7.6 percent to $224,100. First-time buyers made up 30 percent of existing home sales in 2015, up from 29 percent in the past two years.

While these figures indicate a strong labor market, the NAR's chief economist Lawrence Yun had a cautious outlook.

"The housing market will struggle in 2016 to replicate last year's 7 percent increase in sales," said Yun. He cited low existing-home supply, potentially slow economic growth in 2016 and slacking demand for homes in oil-producing regions as reasons to temper expectations.

Wall Street reacted favorably to the NAR report. The SPDR S&P Homebuilders (ETF) (NYSE: XHB) was up 2.4 percent at time of writing. Homebuilders such as KB Home (NYSE: KBH) and PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE: PHM) both saw price increases above 3 percent.

Posted-In: Lawrence Yun NAR National Association of RealtorsNews Econ #s Intraday Update


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