Existing-home sales fell 3.5% year over year in December. Sales rose 6.5% (seasonally adjusted) from November.
As we have been noting, the record surge in foreclosures are driving prices down towards affordable, and in some case, attractive levels. Bloomberg noted that sales were “propelled by the biggest slump in prices since the Great Depression.”
The median sales price fell to $175,400 in December, down a record 15.3% compared with a year earlier. For all of 2008, median prices dropped 9.3% to the lowest level since 2004. The December rebound was led by a distressed-property sales, primarily in Western states such as California, Nevada and Arizona. For the month, distressed properties accounted for about 45% of all sales.
The NAR reported that in 2008, the total number of existing-home sales fell 13.1% to 4,912,000; In 2007, the number were 5,652,000 transactions. 2008 was This is the lowest volume since 1997 (4,371,000 sales).
Chart via The Mess That Greenspan Made
Existing-Home Sales Show Strong Gain In December
NAR, January 26, 2009
U.S. Existing Home Sales Rise on Record Price Slump
Bloomberg, Jan. 26 2009
Existing-home sales rise 6.5% as prices plunge
MarketWatch, 10:01 a.m. EST Jan. 26, 2009