According to recent housing reports the housing market is slowing. The United StatesDepartment of Commerce estimated November sales of new single-family houses at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 438,000. This figure is below the downwardly-revised October estimate and the figure from November of the previous year, both of which figures stood at 445,000. Previously-released figures for the months of August through October were also revised downward. The number of building permits fell overall, but did increase for multi-family housing such as apartment buildings.(Sales are based upon surveys and a sale is counted either as a sales agreement being signed or a deposit being takenfor a purchase. These figures are based on a small sample size and a considerable margin of error. Sales of new homes account for about 10% of the total housing market.)
The Commerce Department report showed that the median price of a new home sold in November was $280,900.00. This was down from the upwardly-revised October figure of $290,100.00. (“Median price” means 50% of the homes sold for less than that price and 50% of the homes sold for more than that price.) The average sales price of a new home sold in Novemberwas $321,800.00. This was also less than that for the previous month (upwardly revised at $375,200.00).
A report from the National Association of Realtors showed existing home sales at aseasonally-adjusted annual rate of 4,930,000, down from an estimate of 5,250,000 for October and down in all regions of the country. This figure is higher than for November of the previous year but was also the lowest figure since May of this year.
Various factors influence the housing markets, for example, inventory levels, mortgage interest rates, household incomes, consumer confidence, proportion of first-time home buyers and strength of labor and stock markets.