Steel Markets

Existing-Home Sales Fall for Fourth Month as Prices Jump

Written by Sandy Williams

Existing-home sales fell for the fourth month in a row in May, reports the National Association of Realtors. Sales rose 16% from April in the Midwest but declined in the South, East and West. On a year-over-year basis, sales rose by double-digits in all regions.

Sales fell 0.9% from April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.8 million in May, but were up 44.6% from a year ago.

“Home sales fell moderately in May and are now approaching pre-pandemic activity,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Lack of inventory continues to be the overwhelming factor holding back home sales, but falling affordability is simply squeezing some first-time buyers out of the market.”

“The market’s outlook, however, is encouraging,” Yun continued. “Supply is expected to improve, which will give buyers more options and help tamp down record-high asking prices for existing homes.”

The median existing-home price rose 23.6% from May 2020 to a record high of $350,300. All regions posted double-digit increases in pricing.

Inventory jumped 7.0% from April to 1.23 million units at the end of May. Inventory is at a 2.5-month supply at the current sales pace. Properties averaged 17 days on the market in May, unchanged from April and down from 26 days a year ago. NAR reports 89% of homes sold in May were on the market for less than a month.

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