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NE Leads Existing Home Sales Lower

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Mortgage Daily

                                                 August 22, 2018

Existing home sales fell to the slowest monthly pace in at least two years, with the Northeast seeing the biggest decline. The West, however, saw an increase.

In July, the ownership of pre-owned residential properties change hands on 522,000 units. Sales included single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-operatives.

Including last month’s activity, existing home sales that were consummated between Jan. 1, 2018, and the end of July amounted to 3.153 million transactions.

The data was reported Wednesday by the National Association of Realtors.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the annual rate of existing home sales came to 5.34 million — the lowest level since it was an upwardly revised 5.34 million in August 2016.

Sales slowed 0.7 percent from June — the fourth consecutive month of declines — and fell 1.5 percent from the downwardly revised rate for July 2017.

“Too many would-be buyers are either being priced out, or are deciding to postpone their search until more homes in their price range come onto the market,” NAR chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in the report.

On just single-family homes, the annual rate was 4.75 million.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate in the Northeast was 0.66 million, sinking from the prior month by 8.3 percent — the most of any region. Sales retreated 1.6 percent in the Midwest to 1.25 million, and they were off 0.4 percent to 2.24 million in the South.

Only the West had an increase in the annual rate: 4.4 percent to 1.19 million.

Last month’s U.S. inventory was 1.92 million, which was a 4.3 month supply.

The average U.S. house price was $307,800, and the median price was $269,600.

First-time buyer share was 32 percent, all-cash share was a fifth, and distressed sales share was just 3 percent.

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