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Existing-Home Sales Slip While Median Price Soars

Phil Hall
Jul 23, 2019
Photo credit: Getty Images/AndreyPopov

Total existing-home sales in June were down 1.7 percent from May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.27 million, according to data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Compared to a year ago, sales are down 2.2 percent from the 5.39 million transactions recorded in June 2018.
 
But while sales slipped, the median existing-home price for all housing types in June ascended to an all-time high of $285,700, up 4.3 percent from the $273,800 level set in June 2018. June’s price increase marks the 88th straight month of year-over-year gains. Also on the rise was the total housing inventory: 1.93 million, up from 1.91 million existing-homes available for sale in May and unchanged from the level of one year ago. Unsold inventory was at a 4.4-month supply at the current sales pace in June, up from the 4.3-month supply recorded in both May and in June 2018.
 
First-time buyers were responsible for 35 percent of sales in June, up from 32 percent in May and 31 percent in June 2018.
 
“Historically, these rates are incredibly attractive,” said NAR President John Smaby, a broker at Minnesota’s Edina Realty. “Securing and locking in on a mortgage now–given the current, favorable conditions–is a decision that will pay off for years to come.”
 
Mike Fratantoni, SVP and chief economist of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), said, “Existing-home sales data continue to paint a weaker picture of the housing market than other market data suggests. The job market and consumer spending remain quite strong, but for housing, inventory remains tight–leading to a constrained sales pace, particularly in markets in the West and the South. The one bright spot in this report is the continuing increase in the first-time homebuyer share of the market, which is now up to 35 percent. Millennials will be providing much of the incremental housing demand over the next several years, and we expect the first-time buyer share to continue to increase from here.”
 
Total existing-home sales in June were down 1.7 percent from May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.27 million

 
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