November 19, 2020 | 10:24
Thankful For The Housing Sector
There are some things to be thankful for this year .... family, friends, health, having the sort of job that permits one to be able to work from home....
And it is that latter point that is helping drive U.S. economic growth. The ability to work from home has opened the door to all of these new options that were never possible before... working from far and distant places, in larger homes, for a lower cost than those homes close to the downtown core. U.S. existing home sales unexpectedly rose for the fifth month in a row, the longest stretch in seven years, jumping 4.3% in October to 6.85 mln units annualized, the highest since November 2005 (or 15 years). Oh, and sales are 26.6% above year-ago levels, the fastest growth rate in 11 years. Did I mention that September was revised higher, too? And all four corners of the country saw sales climb? Wow. And, it wasn't only just single-family homes that sold more (+4.1%)... condos/townhomes also benefitted (+5.8%) from stronger demand. And demand continues to eat into that existing supply of homes available to be sold to the highest bidder (median prices jumped ~16% y/y). Inventories of single-family homes for sale, and the months' supply, hit a record low in October. Awesome news for those looking to sell, not so awesome for those looking to buy. And yet, first-time homebuyers saw their share perk up for the first time since June, to 32%. Investors, or those looking to buy a second home, accounted for 14% of sales, up from 12% in the prior month.
No wonder homebuilder confidence soared to a record high in November.