A report released this morning by the National Association of Realtors 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 on Wednesday), fell by 0.6 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.380 million units. That was the third monthly decline in a row, worse than expected, and the May figure was revised lower. Regionally, existing home sales increased in the Northeast (+5.9 percent) and the Midwest (+0.8 percent) last month and fell in the West (-2.6 percent) and the South (-2.2 percent).
Total housing inventory rose 4.3 percent in June to 1.95 million existing homes available for sale, although that is only 0.5 percent higher compared to a year earlier. Despite the slight uptick in supply, the median selling price increased to $276,900 last month, a new all-time high and a 5.2 percent jump from this same period last year. Young, first-time homebuyers with insufficient cash are being hurt the most by rising prices and mortgage rates, and NAR’s chief economist Lawrence Yun added that “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.” Any flippers that survived the bursting of the housing bubble, though, are likely enjoying the current environment where listings are “going under contract very fast and in many cases, has multiple offers,” according to the report.
Sources: Econoday, NAR, ZH, FRBSLPost author: Charles Couch