Existing Sales Decrease for Third Consecutive Month


Existing-home sales decreased 0.6% in June to a level 2.2% below a year ago, and sales have now decreased year-over-year for three consecutive months. The first-time buyer share of 31% was unchanged from last month, but down from 32% a year ago. The National Association of Realtors reported that 58% of homes sold in June were on the market less than a month, unchanged from May. The June inventory increased 4.3%, a level 0.5% above a year ago, breaking the string of 36 consecutive months of decreases on a year-over-year basis. At the current sales rate, the June unsold inventory represents a 4.3-month supply, up from a 4.1-month supply last month and a 4.2-month supply a year ago. June existing sales reached a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.38 million units, compared to a downwardly revised 5.41 million in May. Total existing home sales include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops.

Existing sales increased 5.9% in the Northeast and 0.8% in the Midwest, but fell 2.2% in the South and 2.6% in the West. Year-over-year sales increased 0.4% in the South, but fell 3.1% in the Midwest, 4.0% in the Northeast and 5.0% in the West.

Homes stayed on the market for 26 days in June, unchanged from the past three months, and down from 28 days a year ago.

The June all-cash sales share was 22%, up from 21% last month and 18% year ago. Individual investors purchased a 13% share in June, down from 15% in May and unchanged from a year ago.

For the second consecutive month, the June median sales price of $276,900 set an all–time high, up 5.2% from a year ago, representing the 76th consecutive month of year-over-year increases. The June median condominium/co-op price of $258,100 was up 4.9% from a year ago.

Builder confidence remained healthy last month because of the continued solid demand for housing, bolstered by strong job growth. However, limited inventory, record high prices and rising mortgage rates caused pending home sales to decline for five consecutive months. So the June decline in existing sales was not unexpected, and the report on new home sales later this week is likely to reflect the same challenges.

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