A new report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) showed that total existing home sales in America, which account for a much larger portion of the overall U.S. housing market than new home sales (due out this Friday), rose by 1.1 percent in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.62 million units. That was better than economists had expected and enough to raise the year-over-year pace of growth to 2.7 percent, the 3rd-highest reading of the past twelve months.
Regionally, existing home sales fell in the Midwest (-5.9%) last month but rose in the Northeast (+6.8%), the West (+3.4%) and the South (+2.2%). Total housing inventory rose to 1.96 million existing homes available for sale in May, although this was still 8.4 percent lower compared to a year ago. Moreover, the median selling price was $252,800 last month, up 5.8 percent from May 2016, the 63rd consecutive month of annual growth, and a new all-time high. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, added that “listings in the affordable price range are scarce, homes are coming off the market at an extremely fast pace and the prevalence of multiple offers in some markets are pushing prices higher.”
Sources: Econoday, NAR, ZH, FRBSLPost author: Charles Couch