Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Existing-Home Sales Show Strong Growth of 6.5% in January 2022

NAR released a summary of existing-home sales data showing that housing market activity this January increased 6.5% from December 2021. January’s existing home sales reached a 6.65 million seasonally adjusted annual rate. January’s sales of existing homes declined 2.3 % from January 2021.

Line graph: U.S. Existing-Home Sales, January 2021 to January 2022

The national median existing-home price for all housing types rose to $350,300 in January, up 15.4% percent from a year ago. Home prices have continued to rise, and this marks the 119th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.

Bar graph: U.S. and Regional Median Sales Price of Existing-Home Sales, January 2022 and January 2021

Regionally, in January, all four regions showed strong price growth from a year ago. The South had the largest gain (18.7%) followed by the West with an increase of 8.8%. The Midwest showed an increase of 7.8% and the Northeast had the smallest price gain (6%) from January 2021.

January’s inventory reached a new all-time low. Inventory of unsold listings, as of the end of the month, dropped 2.3% from last month, standing at 860,000 homes for sale, falling for the sixth consecutive month on a month-over-month basis. Compared with January of 2021, inventory levels are 16.5% lower. This would mark 32 straight months of year-over-year declines. It will take 1.6 months to move the current level of inventory at the current sales pace, well below the desired pace of 6 months.

Demand remains strong as home buyers are snatching listings quickly off the MLS and it takes approximately 19 days for a home to go from listing to a contract in the current housing market. A year ago, it took 21 days.

Bar graph: Inventory, January 2021 to January 2022

From a year ago, two of the four regions had declines in sales in January. The Northeast had the biggest dip (8.2%) followed by the West, which fell 6.6%. The South increased modestly (0.3%), followed by the Midwest, which had was flat.  

Compared to December 2021, all of the four regions also showed increases in sales in January. The South region had the largest increase (9.3%) followed by the Northeast with a gain of 6.8%. The Midwest and the Northeast both shared the smallest rise in sales (4.1%).

The South led all regions in percentage of national sales, accounting for 45.2% of the total, while the Northeast had the smallest share at 12.0%.

Bar graph: Regional Existing-home Sales and Year-Over-Year Percent Change, January 2022 and January 2021

In January, single-family sales increased 6.5% and condominium sales were up 8.8% compared to last month. Single-family home sales were down 2.4% while condominium sales fell 1.3% compared to a year ago. The median sales price of single-family homes rose to 15.9% at $357,100 from January 2021, while the median sales price of condominiums rose 10.8% at $297,800.

Line graph: Year-Over-Year Percent Change in Single-family and Condominium Existing-home Sales, January 2020 to January 2022
Line graph: Year-Over-Year Percent Change in Single Family and Condominium Median Sales Prices, January 2020 to January 2022