NAR: 2nd quarter existing-home sales rise

Existing-home sales in the second quarter showed healthy gains from the first quarter in the vast majority of states, and price declines have increased affordability in most metro areas, according to the latest survey by the National Association of REALTORS®. Total state existing-home sales, including single-family and condo properties, rose 3.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.76 million units in the second quarter from 4.58 million units in the first quarter, but remain 2.9 percent below the 4.90 million-unit pace in the second quarter of 2008.

Thirty-nine states experienced sales increases from the first quarter, and nine states were higher than a year ago; the District of Columbia showed both quarterly and annual rises. During the second quarter, 129 out of 155 metropolitan statistical areas reported lower median existing single-family home prices in comparison with the second quarter of 2008, while 26 areas had price gains.

Distressed sales accounted for 36 percent of transactions in the second quarter, which continued to weigh down median home prices because they typically are sold at a 15 to 20 percent discount; first-time buyers accounted for one-third of transactions. The national median existing single-family price was $174,100, which is 15.6 percent below the second quarter of 2008.

The largest sales gain between the first and second quarters were in:

1. Idaho, up 67.5 percent
2. Hawaii, up 24.2 percent
3. New York, up 22.3 percent
4. Wisconsin, up 21.7 percent
5. Nebraska, up 20.3 percent

Twelve other states experienced double-digit sales increases from the first quarter. Year over year, California, Minnesota, and Michigan are showing double-digit gains from the second quarter of 2008 but are off from the first quarter of this year.

Source: National Association of Realtors®

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