Home prices, however, declined 3.1% year-to-year. Price increases in the Northeast and Midwest regions failed to offset declines in the South and West.
WASHINGTON – Existing-home sales increased marginally in May, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). Two U.S. regions improved – the South and the West – while sales declined in the Northeast and Midwest experiencing pullbacks.
However, all four regions experienced sales declines in a year-to-year comparison.
Total existing-home sales in May – completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – rose 0.2% from April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.30 million. Year-over-year, sales dropped 20.4%, down from 5.40 million in May 2022.
“Mortgage rates heavily influence the direction of home sales,” says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Relatively steady rates have led to several consecutive months of consistent home sales.”
Total housing inventory at the end of May was 1.08 million units, up 3.8% from April but down 6.1% from one year earlier (1.15 million). Unsold inventory sits at a 3.0-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 2.9 months in April and 2.6 months in May 2022.
“Available inventory strongly impacts home sales, too,” Yun adds. “Newly constructed homes are selling at a pace reminiscent of pre-pandemic times because of abundant inventory in that sector. However, existing-home sales activity is down sizably due to the current supply being roughly half the level of 2019.”
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.
Overview of NAR’s findings for May
- 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. Three out of four (74%) 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 yet up from 27% in May 2022.
- 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 – made up 2% of sales in May, virtually unchanged from the previous month and the previous year.
According to Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage 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).
Regional breakdown: Existing-home sales in the 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.
In the 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. The median price in the Midwest was $298,000, up 1.1% from May 2022.
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. The median price in the South was $361,400, down 2.7% from May 2022.
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. The median price in the West was $596,500, down 5.7% from May 2022.
© 2023 Florida Realtors®
Topics: markets&market data/home sales
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