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, fell by 1.3 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.44 million units. That was much worse than economists expected, the slowest pace of growth recorded this year, and the first back-to-back monthly decline since 2015.
Regionally, existing home sales rose in the West (+5.0%) and the South (+2.2%) last month but fell in the Northeast (-14.5%) and the Midwest (-5.3%). Total housing inventory slid to 1.92 million existing homes available for sale in July, which is also 9.0 percent lower compared to a year ago. Further, the median selling price was $258,300 last month, up 6.2 percent from July 2016 and therefore the 65th consecutive month of annual growth. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, added that “home prices are still rising above incomes and way too fast in many markets … realtors continue to say prospective buyers are frustrated by how quickly prices are rising for the minimal selection of homes that fit buyers’ budget and wish list.”
Sources: Econoday, NAR, FRBSLPost author: Charles Couch