Existing-home sales dipped 0.9% in May compared with April, mainly due to limited supply and rising home prices, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
It was the fourth consecutive month that existing-home sales declined.
Year-over-year, sales were up 44.6%, however, home sales in May 2020 were severely impacted by the pandemic.
Regionally, and month over month, existing-home sales fell 0.4% in the South, 1.4% in the Northeast, and 4.1% in the West. Home sales increased 1.6% in the Midwest.
As of the end of the month, sales were at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.80 million.
“Home sales fell moderately in May and are now approaching pre-pandemic activity,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR, in a statement. “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 adds. “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 for all housing types in May was $350,300, up 23.6% from May 2020.
This is a record high and marks 111 straight months of year-over-year gains since March 2012.
As of the end of May there were about 1.23 million homes available for sale, up 7.0% from April but down 20.6% from one year ago.
That’s about a 2.5-month supply at the present sales pace.