Existing-Home Sales Drop for Fifth Straight Month
August 22, 2018
July marked the fifth consecutive month of annualized falling sales, according to new data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Total existing-home sales dropped by 0.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.34 million in July from 5.38 million in June. On a year-over-year basis, sales were down by 1.5 percent.
With last month’s decline, sales are now 1.5 percent below a year ago and have fallen on an annual basis for five straight months. On the flip side, the median existing-home price for all housing types in July was $269,600, up 4.5 percent from the $258,100 price from one year ago. July’s price increase marks the 77th straight month of year-over-year gains.
Properties stayed on the market for an average of 27 days in July, up from 26 days in June but down from 30 days a year ago, while 55 percent of homes sold in July were on the market for less than a month. First-time buyers were 32 percent of sales in July, up from 31 percent in June month but down from 33 percent in July 2017.
“Listings continue to go under contract in under month, which highlights the feedback from Realtors that buyers are swiftly snatching up moderately-priced properties,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Existing supply is still not at a healthy level, and new home construction is not keeping up to meet demand.”
Freddie Mac Deputy Chief Economist Len Kiefer said, "Looking ahead, it’s important to keep in mind that the decline in sales is modest (less than two percent year-over-year). The broader economy, including the crucial labor market, remains robust. With mortgage rates stabilizing over the summer, look for housing market activity to see modest growth later this year.”
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