Existing-Home Sales Fell 0.6% in June
Washington, DC, July 23, 2018-Total existing-home sales decreased 0.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.38 million in June from a downwardly revised 5.41 million in May, according to the National Association of Realtors.
With last month’s decline, sales are now 2.2% below a year ago.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says closings inched backwards in June and fell on an annual basis for the fourth straight month. “There continues to be a mismatch since the spring between the growing level of homebuyer demand in most of the country in relation to the actual pace of home sales, which are declining,” he said. “The root cause is without a doubt the severe housing shortage that is not releasing its grip on the nation’s housing market. What is for sale in most areas is going under contract very fast and in many cases, has multiple offers. This dynamic is keeping home price growth elevated, pricing out would-be buyers and ultimately slowing sales.”
The median existing-home price for all housing types in June was $276,900, surpassing last month as the new all-time high and up 5.2% from June 2017 ($263,300). June’s price increase marks the 76th straight month of year-over-year gains.
Total housing inventory at the end of June climbed 4.3% to 1.95 million existing homes available for sale, and is 0.5% above a year ago (1.94 million)-the first year-over-year increase since June 2015. Unsold inventory is at a 4.3-month supply at the current sales pace (4.2 months a year ago).
Properties typically stayed on the market for 26 days in June, unchanged from the last three months and down from 28 days a year ago. Fifty-eight percent of homes sold in June were on the market for less than a month.
“It’s important to note that despite the modest year-over-year rise in inventory, the current level is far from what’s needed to satisfy demand levels,” added Yun. “Furthermore, it remains to be seen if this modest increase will stick, given the fact that the robust economy is bringing more interested buyers into the market, and new home construction is failing to keep up.”