The housing market wrapped up a strong year in December 2015, which resulted in big boosts for some companies like Home Depot. Coming off a strong 2015, most experts project positive results from 2016, as well.
Last week, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) announced its analysis of existing-home sales statistics for the first month of 2016, and the results indicated continued improvement for the industry.
According to NAR, sales of existing homes during January 2016, based on seasonally adjusted annual rates, increased by 0.5% as compared to December 2015 and 11% compared to January 2015. The rate for January 2016 reflects a six-month high. Regionally, the Northeast experienced a 2.7% increase over December 2015 and a more impressive 20.6% increase over January 2015.
As for the median sales prices of existing homes, January 2016 sales decreased by 4% compared to December 2015 but increased 8.2% as compared to January 2015. In the Northeast region, the median sales price dipped by 3% as compared to December 2015, but increased 0.9% compared to January 2015.
The Chief Economist of the NAR did express some concern that sales prices are accelerating too quickly given the stagnation of household incomes and the decline in available housing inventory. However, he noted that the strength of the housing industry continues to bolster the U.S. economy despite global economic concerns.