Existing-home sales declined in December but easily set an annual record, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
Total existing-home sales – including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – were down 5.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of 6.60 million units in December from an upwardly revised pace of 7.00 million in November. Sales were 3.1 percent lower than a 6.81 million-unit level in December 2004
There were 7,072,000 existing-home sales in all of 2005, up 4.2 percent from 6,784,000 in 2004. This is the fifth consecutive annual record; NAR began tracking the sales series in 1968
So what does David 'Soft Landing' Lereah have to say about these numbers?
David Lereah, NAR’s chief economist, expected the monthly sales decline. “This is part of the market adjustment we’ve been discussing, with a soft landing in sight for the housing sector,” he said. “The level of home sales activity is now at a sustainable level, and is likely to pick up a bit in the months ahead. Overall fundamentals remain solid, driven by population and employment growth as well as favorable affordability conditions in most of the country, so we expect the housing market to remain historically high but lower than last year’s record.”
What about National Median Price?
The national median existing-home price2 for all housing types was $211,000 in December, up 10.5 percent from December 2004 when the median was $191,000. The median is a typical market price where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less.For all of 2005, the median price was $208,700, up 12.7 percent from a median of $185,200 in 2004.
Regionally, the West saw the largest decline in existing home sales where they "fell 11.4 percent to a pace of 1.40 million in December, and were 11.4 percent below a year ago." Of course, these numbers are all regional or national. The numbers for many of the bubble markets are significantly worse.