Existing-home sales fall but prices continue rising – Twin Cities

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Jeff Ostrowski | (TNS) Bankrate.com

The housing market remained soft in June, a new report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows. Sales of existing homes — previously occupied properties, rather than newly built homes — resumed their long downward slide, dropping 3.3%. The number of sales in June was off 18.9% compared to June 2022.

Home prices, meanwhile, were up from May’s median of $396,100 to reach NAR’s second-highest price of all time: $410,200. That’s less than 1% off from the all-time high of $413,800, recorded one year ago in June 2022. “Limited supply is still leading to multiple-offer situations, with one-third of homes getting sold above the list price in the latest month,” Yun said.

“The fate of the housing market in the coming months will be dictated in part by the direction of mortgage rates, as well as the health of the broader economy,” said Mark Hamrick, Bankrate’s senior economic analyst. “The market could benefit from a combination of tailwinds, if they were to develop and are sustained, including easing inflation.”

Yun agrees that lower rates would make a big difference in the market: “The pent-up demand will surely be realized soon, especially if mortgage rates and inventory move favorably.”

Existing-home sales continue to decline

The existing-home sales statistic counts all completed sales of non-new-construction homes, including single-family houses, condos, townhouses and co-ops. According to NAR, the number of sales nationally declined to an annual pace of 4.16 million homes in June 2023, well below historical averages.

Regionally, existing-home sales were a mixed bag. The West again saw the biggest yearly drop at 22.7%, with a 5.1% decrease in the past month. In the Northeast, sales rose 2% month-over-month but fell 21.5% from a year earlier. Midwest sales were flat from May and down 19.5% year-over-year. And the South saw a 5.4% monthly decline and a 16.2% yearly one.

Days on market

The length of time properties sat on the market in June was 18 days, exactly even with May but up from an even faster 14 days at this time last year. More than three-quarters of U.S. homes sold in June — 76% — were on the market for less than a month, NAR reports.

Median sale prices nearly hit record high

The nationwide median sale price for existing homes rose month-over-month from $396,100 to $410,200. One year ago in June 2022, the median price hit its highest-ever recorded price at $413,800. This month marks only the third time ever that NAR’s monthly median sale price exceeded $400,000. The U.S. housing market had been on a remarkable run of 131 consecutive months of year-over-year median sale price increases — the longest-running streak since NAR started keeping records — before dropping year-over-year in February of this year.

Regionally, the West once again has the highest median price by far at $606,500. But even so, that’s still down 3.4% from a year ago. In the Northeast, the median rose 4.9% year-over-year to $475,300. The South’s median price fell 1.2% to $366,600, and the Midwest’s rose 2.1% but remains the lowest of the four major regions at $311,800.

Housing inventory remains low

Total housing inventory — the overall number of homes on the market for sale — sat at 1.08 million units at the end of June. That is identical to May’s number but down 13.6% from June 2022. The number represents only a 3.1-month supply, which is well short of the 5 to 6 months typically required for a healthier, more balanced market.

“There are simply not enough homes for sale,” Yun said. “The market can easily absorb a doubling of inventory.”

(Visit Bankrate online at bankrate.com.)

©2023 Bankrate.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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