Sales down as median prices continued to go up in November

Today we issued our November 2010 housing numbers and for the 13th straight month median prices continued to go up.  While prices were up, sales of both single-family homes and condominiums were down compared to the year before – for the 5th straight month.

However, before I get to the numbers, I wanted to point out one factor to keep in mind when looking at the sales figures this month.  If you remember, in February of 2009, President Obama signed into law a first-time home buyer tax credit.  While it did end up getting extended and expanded, the original deadline was set to expire at 11:59 pm on November 30, 2009.  As a result of this deadline, November 2009 had a 63% increase in sales over the same time the year before (2008).  That was (and still is) the largest single month year-over-year increase that we’ve recorded since we began tracking monthly housing data.  Now, this doesn’t change the fact that sales were down in November, but I do believe this provides some context to the year-over-year drop.

Read the release and listen to the podcast with MAR President Kevin Sears

Here are the highlights from the release:

* Single-family median prices were up for the 13th straight month compared to the year before.
* Single-family home sales were down 31.5% compared to last year.  This is the 5th straight month of decreases.
* The median price for a condo was up 5.2% compared to last year.
* Condo sales were down 38.7 compared to the same time last year.
* Single-family inventory has gone up for the 9th straight month.
* Condo inventory has gone up for the 6th straight month.