Existing home sales slipped 1.7% last month

by Steve Randall24 Jul 2019

Existing home sales were higher in two major US regions last month while two saw a decline.

Overall, existing home sales slipped 1.7% month-over-month in June according to data from the National Association of Realtors following gains in May.

Completed transactions were down to an adjusted annual rate of 5.27 million with sales as a whole down 2.2% from a year ago (5.39 million in June 2018).

"Home sales are running at a pace similar to 2015 levels – even with exceptionally low mortgage rates, a record number of jobs and a record high net worth in the country," said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist. "Imbalance persists for mid-to-lower priced homes with solid demand and insufficient supply, which is consequently pushing up home prices.”

Existing home sales rose slightly in the Northeast (1.5%) and Midwest (1.6%) but decreased in the South (3.4%) and West (3.5%) regions. Sales in all regions were still lower compared to a year ago, with the most significant declines in the Northeast and West.

All time high for median price

The median existing-home price for all housing types in June reached an all-time high of $285,700, up 4.3% year-over-year and marking the 88th straight month of year-over-year gains.

Inventory was in line with a year ago but increased slightly from May, giving 4.4 months of supply.

Meanwhile, mortgage rates eased with an average commitment rate of 3.80%, down from 4.07% in May and enticing first-time buyers into the market; they made up 35% of buyers of existing homes, up from 32% in May and 31% in June 2018.

"Historically, these rates are incredibly attractive," said NAR President John Smaby. "Securing and locking in on a mortgage now – given the current, favorable conditions – is a decision that will pay off for years to come."

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