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Existing-Home Sales Fall Short in June

Existing-home sales are on the decline following an uptick in the previous month, and sales were slower than expected. The National Association of Realtors reports sales declined 1.7% in June from May, and are down 2.2% from a year ago.

"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 in a release. "Imbalance persists for mid-to-lower-priced homes with solid demand and insufficient supply, which is consequently pushing up home prices."

The median home price hit an all-time high at nearly $286,000, which is a more than 4% increase from June 2018. Last month was the 88th consecutive month with a year-over-year increase. Homes were on the market for 27 days, up one day from May and last June, and 56% of homes were sold within a month.

"[The revised May data] marks a significant improvement from the final three months of 2018, when the shock of higher mortgage rates slowed sales …," states a release from Wells Fargo Securities. The current rate, according to the NAR release, for a 30-year conventional, fixed-rate mortgage is 3.8%.

Housing inventory increased slightly toward the end of the month. "While there has been some improvement on this front over the past year, inventories remain well below historical levels," according to Wells Fargo.

Existing-home sales in the Northeast and Midwest inched upward in June, yet each region remains behind its respective June 2018 pace. Sales in the South and West declined in June, also both below June 2018 numbers.

Economists expected sales to decline 0.2%, according to Reuters.

-Michael Miller, managing editor

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Friday, 23 August 2019