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Home sales retreat but could spring back

Posted by Mehran Aram on Sat, Feb 23, 2019 @ 09:02 AM

Home sales fell in January on both a monthly and yearly basis but a recent decline in home prices and mortgage rates could equate to an active spring home buying season. Sales of existing homes dropped 1.2 percent last month from December according to the National Association of Realtors. This is the third consecutive month of declining sales and 8.5 percent lower than January 2018.

During the same month, the median sale price of a previously owned home increased 2.8 percent. While this is the 83rd month in a row of a year-over-year gains, it is the slowest annual increase since February 2012. Simply, although home prices are increasing, they are doing so at a slower pace.

Less dramatic increases in home prices, combined with lower mortgage rates is likely to spur home buying as the weather warms up in the coming months. Conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.25 percent, 15-year rates are near 3.75 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.25 percent.

Do you have a question for Real Estate & Mortgage Analyst Mehran Aram? Submit your queries about a home purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage via Aramco.Biz, social media (#AramcoReport), or over the phone at (866) 381-8888 and your questions may be featured in an upcoming article.

Topics: National Association of Realtors, existing home sales, mortgage rat