This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Home Sales Dropped in November, and It Wasn't Just the Weather

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The housing market experienced some sand in its gears in November, with home sales falling by 15.9%.

That figure comes from the month's Re/Max National Housing Report, a survey of MLS data in 52 metro regions. In addition to the 15.9% decrease in sales, Re/Max reports a 7.8% decrease in November home sales on a year-to-year basis -- the first such decline in 28 months.

"In a month when we normally expect home sales to slow down, this November we've seen more than seasonality at play," says Margaret Kelly, CEO of Re/Max. "While the fundamentals for a housing recovery remain in place, the market never moves in a straight line. Along the way, we should expect some fluctuations resulting from a number of different factors."

A tightening supply of homes for sale, "seasonal factors" (home sales typically aren't strong toward the end of the year), rising interest rates, lousy weather in November for much of the nation and the hangover from the government shutdown all contributed.

Still, at $187,000, the median home prices are up 13.7% from November 2012.

Also, the home sales market is "in balance," according to Re/Max. In other words, it would take 5.4 months, on average, to sell the entire inventory of "for sale" homes in the U.S., closing in on the six-months level market experts say is ideal between buyers and sellers.

Add it all up and it's a continuing roller-coaster ride for the residential real estate market.

Low inventory seems to be having the most impact on home prices and home values heading into 2014.

Kelly says home prices are heading north due to a combination of "low inventory and high demand" -- 43 of 52 metro areas reported higher home values in November on a year-to-year basis. Of the 43 regions, 16 reported double-digit gains.

Home prices likely won't rise at the trajectory were seeing right now for the long term, and the number of homes for sales will surely rise as 2014 opens, especially after March 1 -- the unofficial opening of the spring selling season. That should lift inventory and give buyers more options, which would likely cut into rising home prices.

But those are the fundamentals of a healthy housing market, and that's what we should see coming out of a volatile year for the nation's housing market.

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,461.32 -153.49 -0.92%
S&P 500 1,927.11 -14.17 -0.73%
NASDAQ 4,382.8470 -36.6310 -0.83%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs