The total number of existing home sales has continued to decline for the past few months overall for the United States. According to the National Association of Realtors, decreases in the South and West had exceeded any sales gains that were seen in the Northwest and Midwest. However, the lack of inventory has driven demand to push the median sales price for the month of June to an all-time high.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says closings inched backwards in June and fell on an annual basis for the fourth straight month. “There continues to be a mismatch since the spring between the growing level of homebuyer demand in most of the country in relation to the actual pace of home sales, which are declining,” he said. “The root cause is without a doubt the severe housing shortage that is not releasing its grip on the nation’s housing market. What is for sale in most areas is going under contract very fast and in many cases, has multiple offers. This dynamic is keeping home price growth elevated, pricing out would-be buyers and ultimately slowing sales.”
The breakdown of statistics include existing home sales having decreased by 0.6% for the month of June landing at 2.2% below a year ago. The median sales price for all types of property sales was $276,900 which was a record breaking number that is now at 5.2% higher than that of June of 2017.
Total housing inventory by the end of June had increased 4.3% which was 0.5% higher than last year and is also the first year-over-year increase since June of 2015. Homes were on the market for an average of 26 days in June which is the same length of time for the past few months yet down from 28 days from a year ago. Over half of the homes sold in June were on the market for less than one month.
“It’s important to note that despite the modest year-over-year rise in inventory, the current level is far from what’s needed to satisfy demand levels,” added Yun. “Furthermore, it remains to be seen if this modest increase will stick, given the fact that the robust economy is bringing more interested buyers into the market, and new home construction is failing to keep up.”