Existing-Home Sales Slid 0.9% in May, Median Home Price Hit Record High
Washington, DC, June 22, 2021-Existing-home sales decreased for a fourth straight month in May, according to the National Association of Realtors. Only one major U.S. region recorded a month-over-month increase, while the other three regions saw sales decline. However, each of the four areas again registered double-digit year-over-year gains.
Total existing-home sales dropped 0.9% from April to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.80 million in May. Sales in total climbed year-over-year, up 44.6% from a year ago (4.01 million in May 2020).
"Home sales fell moderately in May and are now approaching pre-pandemic activity," said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist. "Lack of inventory continues to be the overwhelming factor holding back home sales, but falling affordability is simply squeezing some first-time buyers out of the market.
"The market's outlook, however, is encouraging," Yun continued. "Supply is expected to improve, which will give buyers more options and help tamp down record-high asking prices for existing homes."
The median existing-home price for all housing types in May was $350,300, up 23.6% from May 2020 ($283,500), as every region registered price increases. This is a record high and marks 111 straight months of year-over-year gains since March 2012.
Total housing inventory at the end of May amounted to 1.23 million units, up 7.0% from April's inventory and down 20.6% from one year ago (1.55 million). Unsold inventory sits at a 2.5-month supply at the present sales pace, marginally up from April's 2.4-month supply but down from 4.6-months in May 2020.
Properties typically remained on the market for 17 days in May, unchanged from April and down from 26 days in May 2020. Eighty-nine percent of the homes sold in May 2021 were on the market for less than a month.