Home Sales Dip as Buyers Get ‘Tripped Up’

National Association of Realtors  |   July 24, 2017

Low inventory slowed down home sales last month, as buyers faced fewer options and record-high real estate prices, the National Association of REALTORS® reported Monday. Here’s a closer look at how existing-home sales fared across the country in June: Northeast: Dropped 2.6 percent to an annual rate of 760,000 but are still 1.3 percent above a year ago. Median price: $296,300, up 4.1 percent from a year ago. Midwest: Increased 3.1 percent to an annual rate of 1.32 million. Median price: $213,000, up 7.7 percent from a year ago. South: Fell 4.7 percent to an annual rate of 2.23 million. Median price: $231,300, up 6.2 percent from a year ago. West: Dropped 0.8 percent to an annual rate of 1.21 million but are still 2.5 percent above a year ago. Median price: $378,100, up 7.4 percent from a year ago. Total existing-home sales, which include completed transactions for single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops, fell 1.8 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.52 million. Nevertheless, the pace of sales rose a modest 0.7 percent compared to a year ago. “Closings were down in most of the country last month because interested buyers are being tripped up by supply that remains stuck at a meager level and price growth that’s straining their budget,” says NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. “The demand for buying a home is as strong as it has been since before the Great Recession. Listings in affordable price ranges continue to be scooped up rapidly, but the severe housing shortages inflicting many markets are keeping a large segment of would-be buyers on the sidelines.” Here’s a closer look at some of the top housing indicators in June from NAR’s latest report: Home prices: The median existing-home price for all housing types was $263,800, up 6.5 percent from a year ago. It’s now the highest median price on record. Inventories: The supply of existing homes available for sale dropped 0.5 percent to 1.96 million units. That’s 7.1 percent lower than a year ago; unsold inventory is at a 4.3-month supply at the current sales pace. Days on the market: Fifty-four percent of sold homes were on the market less than a month. Properties took an average of 28 days to sell, down from a timeline of 34 days a year ago. Short sales spent the longest amount of time on the market at 102 days, foreclosures sold in 57 days, and nondistressed homes took a median of 27 days to sell. All-cash sales: Cash transactions made up 18 percent of home sales, the lowest figure since 2009. Individual investors accounted for the biggest bulk of cash sales—13 percent—unchanged from a year ago. Distressed sales: Foreclosures and short sales made up 4 percent of sales, which matches the lowest share recorded last September since NAR began tracking such data in October 2008. Foreclosures comprised 3 percent of sales, while short sales made up 1 percent. First-time buyers: First-timers accounted for 32 percent of sales, down from 33 percent a year ago. “It’s shaping up to be another year of below-average sales to first-time buyers despite a healthy economy that continues to create jobs,” Yun says. “Worsening supply and affordability conditions in many markets have unfortunately put a temporary hold on many aspiring buyers’ dreams of owning a home this year.”

Source: National Association of Realtors