Stylish and compact, these new Canon instant printers make creative pursuits easyRead more Nigerian Law Enforcement agencies open investigations on Hawilti and company executives for criminal breach of trust, cheating, defrauding investors schemeRead more Famine looms in Somalia, but many ‘hunger hotspots’ are in deep troubleRead more Launch of the 3rd Edition of the Choiseul Africa Business Forum, a Must-Attend Event for the Business Community in Africa October 19th & 20th, 2022 in Casablanca, MoroccoRead more World’s Biggest Afrobeats Music Festival Afro Nation Extends Partnership with APO Group until 2025Read more Master Trainer (MT) National Meeting on Sustainable Coffee Practices Organized by The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation in Collaboration with The Sustainable Coffee Platform of Indonesia (SCOPI)Read more Thai Ambassador met the Thai Community in Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar and visited the Buddhist Temple in TanzaniaRead more Generation Africa awards US$100,000 to two young agripreneurs from Kenya and Uganda in the fourth annual GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition at the African Green Revolution Forum Summit in Kigali, RwandaRead more Medicaid Cancer Foundation and AstraZeneca celebrate Prostate Cancer Awareness month with the launch of Project Icon NigeriaRead more Eight Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD8): President Barrow Discusses Inclusive Development in The Gambia with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Assistant AdministratorRead more

US existing home sales end banner year with slump

show caption
US existing home sales hit a 15-year high in 2021, but supply hit a record low, the National Association of Realtors said, indicating challenges ahead for the real estate market./AFP
Print Friendly and PDF

Jan 21, 2022 - 10:46 AM

WASHINGTON — The US real estate market last year saw the most existing homes sold in 15 years, even as sales slumped in the final month of 2021, according to industry data released Thursday.

With low borrowing rates spurring homebuyers, 6.12 million pre-owned homes were sold last year, the most since 2006 and 8.5 percent more than in 2020, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said.

But it hasn’t been smooth sailing for the property market, which plays a major role in the US economy.

High demand has pushed prices higher, while shortages of key materials and workers exacerbated the shortage of homes for sale.

In December, NAR said home sales declined 4.6 percent compared to November, breaking a streak of three straight months of increases, and worse than analysts expected.

“December saw sales retreat, but the pull back was more a sign of supply constraints than an indication of a weakened demand for housing,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement, adding that sales for 2021 overall “finished strong.”

The supply challenges are far from over, with the inventory of homes for sale hitting an all-time low in December of 910,000 units, 18 percent lower than in November and 14.2 percent below the final month of 2020. That was equivalent to 1.8 months supply at the current sales pace.

“Home builders have already made strides in 2022 to increase supply, but reversing gaps like the ones we’ve seen recently will take years to correct,” Yun warned.

Prices continued their upward climb amid the shortage, hitting a median of $358,000 last month, a 15.8 percent increase for the year, and rising in all regions of the country, the report said.

Sales in the West and South saw the biggest declines, dropping of 6.8 percent and 6.3 percent, respectively, compared to November, while the Midwest and Northeast each dropped 1.3 percent.

Nancy Vanden Houten of Oxford Economics predicted home sales this year would “mostly trend sideways” as the Federal Reserve raises lending rates and the economy continues to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Resilient demand will underpin the housing market, but limited supply and declining affordability from both higher prices and rising mortgage rates will constrain the pace of sales,” she wrote in an analysis.

MAORANDCITIES.COM uses both Facebook and Disqus comment systems to make it easier for you to contribute. We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. All comments should be relevant to the topic. By posting, you agree to our Privacy Policy. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, name-calling, foul language or other inappropriate behavior. Please keep your comments relevant and respectful. By leaving the ‘Post to Facebook’ box selected – when using Facebook comment system – your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the “X” in the upper right corner of the Facebook comment box to report spam or abuse. You can also email us.