We Have a Home-Sale Stat That’s Considered Normal!

July 21, 2011

Earlier we discussed positive news involving the new-home market. Now we have the statistics on U.S. existing-home sales, which fell last month, though not in every region of the country.

Total existing-home sales in June declined 0.8 percent from the previous month to mark the third-straight monthly drop, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

Analysts had expected home sales to rise 1.9 percent.

realtor holding a sold sign with a couple celebrating behindBut not every region saw the numbers go down. Sales of existing homes in the Midwest actually increased 1.0 percent from May to a pace of 1.04 million. That is still 14 percent below the levels from the same month last year, however.

The South also saw an increase, of 0.5 percent, but the Northeast and the West both posted declines of 5.2 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively.

Total housing inventory at the end of last month rose 3.3 percent to 3.77 million existing homes for sale. That represents a 9.5-month supply at the current sales pace, an increase from the 9.1-month supply in May.

“With record high housing affordability conditions thus far in 2011, we’d normally expect to see stronger home sales,” said NAR President Ron Phipps.

“Even with job creation below expectations, excessively tight loan standards are keeping many buyers from completing deals. Although proposals being considered in Washington could effectively put more restrictions on lending, some banking executives have hinted that credit may return to more normal, safe standards in the not-too-distant future, but the tardiness of this process is holding back the recovery.”

The national median home price for existing homes in June was $184,300, an increase of 0.8 percent from June 2010.

The median price in the Midwest was $147,700, a 5.3 percent decline from the same month last year.

Other statistics from the NAR for June:

*The median home price in the Northeast ($261,000) was 3.1 percent below the price from the same month a year ago; the price in the South ($159,100) was down 0.1 percent from June 2010; and the median price in the West ($240,400) was actually up 9.5 percent compared to last year’s median price.

*Distressed homes, which account for foreclosures and short sales generally sold at deep discounts, accounted for 30 percent of all existing-home sales in June. That’s down from 31 percent in May and 32 percent in June 2010.

*First-time buyers bought 31 percent of homes in June, down from 36 percent the previous month.

*Investors snapped up 19 percent of sales in June, same as May. In June 2010, they accounted for 13 percent.

*Existing condo sales fell 7.0 percent while single-family home sales remained the same as May.

Finally, repeat buyers accounted for 50 percent of June’s sales, up from 45 percent in May. The NAR calls that a “normal seasonal gain.”

Normal has never sounded so nice.

Categories: Economy

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