As elevated mortgage rates and higher home prices weighed on housing affordability, existing home sales declined for six consecutive months, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). All four regions saw double-digit decline in sales from a year ago. But home price appreciation has slowed as inventory increased. The median existing home prices in July was down $10,000 from last month’s record high of $413,800.
Total existing home sales, including single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, fell 5.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.81 million in July, the lowest level since May 2020. Sales have decreased 26.3% this year. On a year-over-year basis, sales were 20.2% lower than a year ago.
The first-time buyer share fell to 29% in July, down from 30% both in June and a year ago. The July inventory level increased from 1.25 to 1.31 million units but was unchanged from a year ago.
At the current sales rate, July unsold inventory sits at a 3.3-month supply, up from 2.9-months last month and 2.6-months a year ago.
Homes stayed on the market for an average of just 14 days in July, the same as in June and down from 17 days in July 2021. This is the lowest number since NAR began tracking in May 2011. In July, 82% of homes sold were on the market for less than a month.
The July all-cash sales share was 24% of transactions, down from 25% last month but up from 23% a year ago.
The July median sales price of all existing homes was $403,800, up 10.8% from a year ago, representing the 125th consecutive month of year-over-year increases, the longest-running streak on record. The median existing condominium/co-op price of $345,000 in July was up 9.9% from a year ago.
Geographically, all four regions saw a decline in existing home sales in July, ranging from 3.3% in the Midwest to 9.4% in the West. On a year-over-year basis, sales also decreased in all major regions, ranging from 14.4% in the Midwest to 30.4% in the West.
Meanwhile, the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) is a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts. The PHSI fell 8.6% from 99.6 to 91.0 in June. On a year-over-year basis, sales were 20.0% lower than a year ago per the NAR data.