NAR: Existing-Home Sales Increased in May But Inventory Remains Tight

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Spurred by lower mortgage rates, existing-home sales increased 2.5% in May compared with April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.34 million, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

However, sales were down 1.1% compared with May 2018.

Regionally, sales were up 4.7% in the Northeast, 3.4% in the Midwest, 1.8% in the South and 1.8% in the West, compared with April.

In a statement, Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR, says “purchasing power to buy a home has been bolstered by falling mortgage rates, and buyers are responding.”

The median existing-home price for all housing types in May was $277,700, up 4.8% from $265,100 in May 2018.

May marked the 87th straight month that the average U.S. home price increased on a year-over-year basis.

Inventory increased slightly, but remains tight: As of the end of May, there were about 1.92 million existing homes available for sale, up from 1.83 million in April and up from 1.87 million a year earlier.

That’s about a 4.3-month supply at the current sales pace.

“Solid demand along with inadequate inventory of affordable homes have pushed the median home price to a new record high,” Yun says.

Properties remained on the market for an average of 26 days in May, up from 24 days in April.

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