September Data Update
Note: Data below is from July, the most recent data compiled by the National Association of Realtors®.
While July’s listings went under contract in less than 30 days for the fourth consecutive month due to high buyer demand, overall sales of existing homes declined as sales dips in the Northeast and Midwest outweighed sales gains in the South and West, based on data from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).
Total sales of existing homes — measuring transactions for single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops — dipped 1.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.44 million in July from 5.51 million in June. July’s sales pace remains 2.1% higher than a year ago, but is the lowest this year.
NAR’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun, said the latter half of the year started off on a bit of a sour note as July’s existing sales inched backward. “Buyer interest in most of the country has held up strongly this summer and homes are selling fast, but the negative effect of not enough inventory to choose from and its pressure on overall affordability put the brakes on what should’ve been a higher sales pace,” Yun said, adding that “Contract activity has mostly trended downward since February and ultimately put a large dent on closings last month.”
Housing Data Takeaways
- Nationally, July’s median existing-home price for all housing types was $258,300, up 6.2% from July 2016 ($243,200). This represents the 65th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.
- Total housing inventory by the end of July fell 1.0% to 1.92 million existing homes available for sale, is now 9.0% lower than a year ago (2.11 million) and has fallen year-over-year for 26 straight months. Nationally, unsold inventory offers a 4.2-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 4.8 months one year ago.
- First-time buyers nationally drove 33% of sales in July, up from 32% both in June and a year ago. The share of first-time buyers for all of 2016 was 35%.
- Freddie Mac data shows the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage rose to 3.97 percent in July, up from 3.90 percent in June. The average rate for all of 2016 was 3.65%.
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