Existing-Home Sales Rose 2.5% in May
Washington, DC, June 21, 2019-Total existing-home sales jumped 2.5% from April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.34 million in May, according to the National Association of Realtors. Total sales, however, are down 1.1% from a year ago (5.40 million in May 2018).
Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said the 2.5% jump shows that consumers are eager to take advantage of the favorable conditions. “The purchasing power to buy a home has been bolstered by falling mortgage rates, and buyers are responding.”
The median existing-home price for all housing types in May was $277,700, up 4.8% from May 2018 ($265,100). May’s price increase marks the 87th straight month of year-over-year gains.
Total housing inventory at the end of May increased to 1.92 million, up from 1.83 million existing homes available for sale in April and a 2.7% increase from 1.87 million a year ago.
Unsold inventory is at a 4.3-month supply at the current sales pace, up from both the 4.2 month supply in April and from 4.2 months in May 2018.
Though inventory is up, the months’ supply numbers remain near historic lows, which has a direct effect on price, according to Yun. “Solid demand along with inadequate inventory of affordable homes have pushed the median home price to a new record high,” he said.
Properties remained on the market for an average of 26 days in May, up from 24 days in April and equal to the 26 days in May of 2018. Fifty-three percent of homes sold in May were on the market for less than a month.
Given that housing and properties have been selling so quickly, Yun continues his call for new construction. “More new homes need to be built,” he said. “Otherwise, we risk worsening the housing shortage, and an increasingly number of middle-class families will be unable to achieve homeownership.”