Note: January 2019 data below are the most recent released by the National Association of Realtors.

Existing-home sales experienced a minor drop for the third consecutive month in January, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Of the four major U.S. regions, only the Northeast saw an uptick in sales activity in January.

Total existing-home sales (transactions including single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops) decreased 1.2 percent from December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.94 million in January. Sales were down 8.5 percent from a year ago (5.40 million in January 2018).


National Association of Realtors January 2019 DataNAR's chief economist, Lawrence Yun says January's home sales of 4.94 million were the lowest since November 2015, but that he does not expect the numbers to decline further going forward. “Existing home sales in January were weak compared to historical norms; however, they are likely to have reached a cyclical low. Moderating home prices combined with gains in household income will boost housing affordability, bringing more buyers to the market in the coming months.”

The median existing-home price for all housing types in January was $247,500, up 2.8 percent from January 2018 ($240,800). January’s price increase marks the 83rd straight month of year-over-year gains.

Total housing inventory at the end of January increased to 1.59 million, up from 1.53 million existing homes available for sale in December, and represents an increase from 1.52 million a year ago. Unsold inventory is at a 3.9-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 3.7 months in December and from 3.4 months in January 2018.

Properties remained on the market for an average of 49 days in January, up from 46 days in December and 42 days a year ago. Thirty-eight percent of homes sold in January were on the market for less than a month.

Per Freddie Mac data, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage decreased to 4.46 percent in January from 4.64 percent in December. The average commitment rate for all of 2018 was 4.54 percent.

First-time buyers were responsible for 29 percent of sales in January, down from last month (32 percent), but the same as a year ago.