US existing home sales from the National Association of Realtors increased 0.2% month-over-month in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.30 million (consensus 4.28 million) from an upwardly revised 4.29 million (from 4.28 million) in April. For perspective sales were down 20.4% from the same period a year ago. Inventory of existing homes for sale remains extremely tight, due partially to the strength of the labor market (and ability to work remotely) and affordability with mortgage rates.
February was the first-time existing home sales had risen after falling twelve straight months prior to February, the longest stretch since 1999, and the lowest level since November of 2010.
Data for May 2023
- Existing home sales increased 0.2% month-over-month in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.30 million (consensus 4.28 million) from an upwardly revised 4.29 million (from 4.28 million) in April.
- Sales were down 20.4% from the same period a year ago.
- Total inventory of unsold existing homes rose by 3.8% from the previous month to 1.08 million, reflecting 3 months of supply at the current pace of sales.
- The median existing home price for all housing types in May was $396,100, a decline of 3.1% from May 2022 ($408,600). Prices grew in the Northeast and Midwest but fell in the South and West.
- Properties typically remained on the market for 18 days in May, down from 22 days in April but up from 16 days in May 2022.
- Seventy-four percent of homes sold in May were on the market for less than a month.
- First-time buyers were responsible for 28% of sales in May, down from 29% in April but up from 27% in May 2022. NAR’s 2022 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers released in November 2022 found that the annual share of first-time buyers was 26%, the lowest since NAR began tracking the data.
- All-cash sales accounted for 25% of transactions in May, down from 28% in April and identical to one year ago.
- Individual investors or second-home buyers, who make up many cash sales, purchased 15% of homes in May, down from 17% in April and 16% the previous year.
- Distressed sales – foreclosures and short sales – represented 2% of sales in May, virtually unchanged from last month and the prior year.
“Mortgage rates heavily influence the direction of home sales. Relatively steady rates have led to several consecutive months of consistent home sales.””, said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.”
- According to Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage(link is external) averaged 6.69% as of June 15. That’s down from 6.71% the previous week but up from 5.78% one year ago.
Single-family and Condo/Co-op Sales
Single-family home sales dipped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.85 million in May, down 0.3% from 3.86 million in April and 20.0% from the previous year. The median existing single-family home price was $401,100 in May, down 3.4% from May 2022.
Existing condominium and co-op sales were recorded at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 450,000 units in May, up 4.7% from April but down 23.7% from one year ago. The median existing condo price was $353,000 in May, nearly identical to the prior year ($353,100).
“A temporary capital gains tax reduction on a sale of investment property can lead to a boost in housing inventory, home sales and the economy,” said NAR President Kenny Parcell, a REALTOR® from Spanish Fork, Utah, and broker-owner of Equity Real Estate Utah. “Policymakers need to seriously consider the measure.”
Existing home sales across regions:
- Northeast declined 2.0% from April to an annual rate of 500,000 in May, down 25.4% from May 2022. The median price in the Northeast was $439,000, up 2.5% from one year ago.
- Midwest, existing-home sales faded 2.9% from one month ago to an annual rate of 990,000 in May, decreasing 20.8% from the previous year.
- Existing-home sales in the South expanded 1.5% from April to an annual rate of 2.02 million in May, sliding 16.5% from the prior year.
- In the West, existing-home sales rose 2.6% from the previous month to an annual rate of 790,000 in May, down 25.5% from one year ago.
Median home prices by region year-over-year:
- The median price in the Northeast was $439,000, up 2.5% from one year ago.
- The median price in the Midwest was $298,000, up 1.1% from May 2022.
- The median price in the South was $361,400, down 2.7% from May 2022.
- The median price in the West was $596,500, down 5.7% from May 2022.
The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.5 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
Existing home sales account for 90% of US transactions and are calculated on a contract close basis. New home sales account for the remaining 10% and are based on contract signings.
Existing-home sales include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, are based on transaction closings from Multiple Listing Services. Changes in sales trends outside of MLSs are not captured in the monthly series. NAR benchmarks home sales periodically using other sources to assess overall home sales trends, including sales not reported by MLSs.
Existing-home sales, based on closings, differ from the U.S. Census Bureau’s series on new single-family home sales, which are based on contracts or the acceptance of a deposit. Because of these differences, it is not uncommon for each series to move in different directions in the same month. In addition, existing-home sales, which account for more than 90% of total home sales, are based on a much larger data sample – about 40% of multiple listing service data each month – and typically are not subject to large prior-month revisions.
From The TradersCommunity News Desk