After a busy week for data updates for retail, real estate and construction — and even slightly improving mortgage rates —the latest version of the Quikrete Industry Dashboard has an overall downward flavor in its latest iteration.
On Friday morning, the National Realtors Association reported the 11th consecutive month of declines in existing home sales. The December reading stands at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.02 million, down from 4.09 million in November, and down from 6.09 million in the same month last year.
“December was another difficult month for buyers, who continue to face limited inventory and high mortgage rates,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “However, expect sales to pick up again soon since mortgage rates have markedly declined after peaking late last year.”
[According to Freddie Mac, these rates averaged 6.15% as of January 19. That’s down from 6.33% last week, but up from 3.56% one year ago.]
Additional data released by the NAR Friday shows:
• The median existing-home price3 for all housing types in December was $366,900, an increase of 2.3% from December 2021 ($358,800), as prices rose in all regions.
• Properties typically remained on the market for 26 days in December, up from 24 days in November and 19 days in December 2021.
Elsewhere on the Quikrete Industry Dashboard, single-family housing starts, as reported by U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development showed a sizeable month-to-month boost in December to a SAAR of 909,000. Still, single-fam starts are down from December 2022, when they were at a pace of 1,212,000.
Meanwhile, the Stock Roundup shows a variety of negative numbers for the month and the year—in addition to some monthly gains—as Wall Street in general continues to run with the bears.
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Coming next: The New York-based Conference Board will release Consumer Confidence Tuesday, Jan. 31.