U.S. The sale of used houses fell in December
WASHINGTON, Jan 20 (Reuters) – U.S. home sales fell in December as higher prices amid record-low inventory continued to exclude some first-time buyers.
The existing home sales fell 4.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6,180,000 units last monththe National Association of Realtors said Thursday, reporting falls in all regions. Economists polled by Reuters estimated a decline at a rate of 6,440,000 units.
Second-hand home sales, which make up the bulk of the country’s home market, fell 7.1% year-on-year. Sold a total of 6,120,000 homes in 2021, the most since 2006, and 8.5% more than in 2020. Sales remained concentrated at the upper end of market prices.
The demand for homes is being driven by individuals as well as investors remodeling and then reselling to take advantage of an active real estate market. But rising mortgage rates, supply constraints and higher home prices could make purchases less affordable this year.
There is a record number of authorized housing constructions that have not yet started, according to government data released Wednesday. Builders said this week that higher material costs and shortages were adding weeks to typical single-family home build times.
In November, the government nearly doubled tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber imports from 9% to 17.9%, after a review of its antidumping and countervailing duty orders.
Median existing home prices rose 15.8% from a year earlier to $358,000 in December. Prices averaged a record $346,900 in 2021, up 16.9% from the previous year.