Existing home sales fell for the 12th consecutive month in January, the longest run of declines since 1999, NAHB Eye on Housing reports. Total existing home sales fell 0.7% on a monthly basis and 36.9% year-over-year in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.0 million, the lowest level since November 2010 with the exception of April and May 2020.
As a result of slower buyer activity, for-sale homes stayed on the market for an average of 33 days in January, up from 26 days in December and 19 days in January 2022.
The first-time buyer share stayed at 31% in January, unchanged from last month but up from 27% in January 2022. The fact that this share has stayed stable is a positive sign of future homebuying demand. The January inventory level measure rose from 0.96 to 0.98 million units and was up 0.85 million from a year ago.
At the current sales rate, January unsold inventory sits at a 2.9-month supply, unchanged from last month but up from a 1.6-months reading a year ago.