U.S. Existing Home Sales Drop Sharply In June

by Ike Obudulu Posted on July 23rd, 2019

Washington: After reporting a notable increase in U.S. existing home sales in the previous month, the National Association of Realtors released a report on Tuesday showing existing home sales pulled back by much more than anticipated in the month of June.

NAR said existing home sales tumbled by 1.7 percent to annual rate of 5.27 million in June after soaring by 2.9 percent to an upwardly revised rate of 5.36 million in May.

Economists had expected existing home sales to edge down by 0.2 percent to a rate of 5.33 million from the 5.34 million originally reported for the previous month.

“Home sales are running at a pace similar to 2015 levels – even with exceptionally low mortgage rates, a record number of jobs and a record high net worth in the country,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

He added, “Imbalance persists for mid-to-lower priced homes with solid demand and insufficient supply, which is consequently pushing up home prices.”

The report said the median existing home price for all housing types reached an all-time high of $285,700 in June, up 4.3 percent from $273,800 in the same month a year ago.

Total housing inventory increased to 1.93 million existing homes available for sale at the end of June, representing 4.4 months of supply at the current sales pace.

NAR said single-family existing home sales fell by 1.5 percent to an annual rate of 4.69 million, while existing condominium and co-op sales plunged by 3.3 percent to a rate of 580,000.

Existing home sales in the West and South tumbled by 3.5 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively, while existing home sales climbed by 1.5 percent in the Northeast and by 1.6 percent in the Midwest.

On Wednesday, the Commerce Department is scheduled to release a separate report on new home sales in the month of June.

Economists expect new home sales to jump by 5.4 percent to a rate of 660,000 in June after plummeting by 7.8 percent to a rate of 626,000 in May.

Why Markets Care About Existing Home Sales Also Called Home Resales

Existing Home Sales report is released monthly, about 20 days after the month ends, by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

It measures annualized number of residential buildings that were sold during the previous month, excluding new construction. While this is monthly data, it’s reported in an annualized format (monthly figure x12).

The Existing-Home Sales data measures sales and prices of existing single-family homes for the nation overall, and gives breakdowns for the West, Midwest, South, and Northeast regions of the country. These figures include condos and co-ops, in addition to single-family homes.

Existing Home Sales is a leading indicator of economic health because the sale of a home triggers a wide-reaching ripple effect. For example, renovations are done by the new owners, a mortgage is sold by the financing bank, and brokers are paid to execute the transaction.

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