Existing-home sales rise in July

NAR says supply of moderately-priced homes is "inadequate."

BY HBSDealer Staff

Existing-home sales in July increased 2.5% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.42 million, the National Association of Realtors reported.

This includes all completed transactions of single-family homes, townhomes, condos and co-ops. Sale are up 0.6% from a year ago and a pace of 5.39 million units in July 2018.

Single-family home sales sat at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.84 million in July, up from 4.71 million in June and up 1% from a year ago. The median existing single-family home price was $284,000 in July 2019, up 4.5% from July 2018.

“Falling mortgage rates are improving housing affordability and nudging buyers into the market,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the NAR.

But Yun added that the supply of affordable housing is severely low. “The shortage of lower-priced homes have markedly pushed up home prices.”

Regionally, and compared to June, existing-home sales fell 2.9% in the Northeast to an annual rate of 660,000. This is also a 4.3% decline from a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $305,800, down 1% from July 2018.

Sales in the Midwest rose 1.6% to an annual rate of 1.27 million and are up 0.8% from last year. The median price in the Midwest was $226,300, an 8.1% surge from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the South increased 1.8% to an annual rate of 2.31 million in July, up 2.7% from a year ago. The median price in the South was $245,100, up 5.2% from one year ago.

In the West, existing-home sales shot up 8.3% to an annual rate of 1.18 million in July, just 0.8% below a year ago. The median price in the West was $408,000, up 3.7% from July 2018.

The median existing-home price for all housing types in July was $280,800, up 4.3% from July 2018 ($269,300). July’s price increase marks the 89th straight month of year-over-year gains.

Total housing inventory at the end of July decreased to 1.89 million, down from 1.92 million existing-homes available for sale in June, and a 1.6% decrease from 1.92 million one year ago.

Unsold inventory is at a 4.2-month supply at the current sales pace, down from the 4.4 month-supply recorded in June and down from the 4.3-month supply recorded in July of 2018.

“Clearly, the inventory of moderately-priced homes is inadequate and more home building is needed,” said Yun. “Some new apartments could be converted into condominiums thereby helping with the supply, especially in light of new federal rules permitting a wider use of Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgages to buy condo properties.”

The latest report from the NAR follows last month’s data that showed existing-home sales declining 1.7% in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.27 million.




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