Existing-home sales climb 2.5 percent in May
For the first time in two months, existing-home sales saw an increase in sales, with all four major regions reporting growth. Though total existing-home sales are still down 1.1 percent from a year ago.
Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist sees the 2.5 percent increase illustrative of consumers’ desire to take advantage of lower mortgage rates. “The purchasing power to buy a home has been bolstered by falling mortgage rates, and buyers are responding.”
Up 4.8 percent from last year, the median existing-home price for all housing types in May marks the 87th straight month of year-over-year gains. Inventory has increased as well, with the total housing inventory up 2.7 percent from last year.
Despite the increase in inventory, May’s supply numbers remain near historic lows—directly affecting price. “Solid demand along with inadequate inventory of affordable homes have pushed the median home price to a new record high,” Yun explains.
Properties have been selling quickly, with 53 percent of the homes sold in May on the market for less than a month. “More new homes need to be built,” says Yun. “Otherwise, we risk worsening the housing shortage, and an increasing number of middle-class families will be unable to achieve homeownership.” The hottest metro areas on the market (measured by time-on the market and listing views per property) currently include: Rochester, N.Y., Fort Wayne, IN, Lafayette-West Lafayette, IN, Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass. and Midland, Texas.
NAR President, John Smaby, weighs in: “The month of May ushered in the home sales upswing that we had been expecting. Sales are strengthening in all regions while we see price appreciation for recent buyers.”
From a regional standpoint, May existing-home sales saw improvement from April’s numbers across the board—increasing 4.7 percent in the Northeast, 3.4 percent in the Midwest and 1.8 percent in both the South and West.