From the WSJ:
Existing-home sales, which rose in November to the highest seasonally adjusted annual rate since January, are on track for their strongest year since 2006 as low mortgage-interest rates and a robust job market drive up demand.
Sales of previously owned homes rose 1.9% in November, climbing for the third straight month, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday.
The booming housing market comes against a backdrop of an economy that is growing but facing pressure from high inflation and worries about the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. The new fast-spreading variant could crimp consumer spending during the holiday shopping season, particularly outlays on in-person services like travel, entertainment and dining out.
Meanwhile, the supply of homes for sale dropped to a record low at the beginning of the year and has stayed well below normal all year, according to NAR. Home prices have soaredas buyers have competed for a limited number of homes. The median existing-home price rose 13.9% in November from a year earlier, NAR said, to $353,900.
The holiday season and cold weather in some parts of the country typically curtail home sales near the end of the year. But activity hasn’t slowed much in recent weeks. Buyers might have been in a rush to purchase before home prices rose further or interest rates ticked upward, said Doug Duncan, chief economist at Fannie Mae.