July Existing-Home Sales Show Gain
Existing-home sales rose in July to the highest level in five months, although sales have hovered in a relatively narrow range over the past 11 months, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
Existing-home sales-including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops- increased 3.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.00 million units in July from a downwardly revised level of 4.85 million in June, but are 13.2 percent lower than the 5.76 million-unit pace in July 2007.
NAR President Richard F. Gaylord, a broker with RE/MAX Real Estate Specialists in Long Beach, Calif., said the up-and-down pattern may break soon. “We hope the new tools in the hands of homebuyers from the recently enacted housing stimulus package will spark a sustained sales uptrend in the months ahead,” he said. “Buyers who’ve been on the sidelines should take a closer look at what’s available to them now in terms of financing and incentives. Given some of the inventory on the market, we also strongly encourage buyers to get a professional home inspection.”
The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $212,400 in July, down 7.1 percent from a year ago when the median was $228,600.
“Sales have picked up significantly in several Florida and California markets. Home prices generally follow sales trends after a few months of lag time,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Still, inventory remains high in many parts of the country and will require time to fully absorb.”
Source: National Association of Realtors®
REAL Trends Comment: As we saw in the July REAL Trends Housing Market Report, sales have increased in five states and leveled off in three other major states. We think the market is improving in terms of unit sales. And the NAR median price figure is almost exactly in line with the average price indicator that the Housing Market Report indicated. All signs of slow but steady progress, at least on the unit sales level.