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Existing-Homes: Low Mortgage Rates Revive Sales
By RISMedia Staff
RISMEDIA, Monday, June 24, 2019— Fueled by low mortgage rates, existing-home sales in May sprang 2.5 percent, with inventory leveling up to 1.92 million, according to the latest National Association of REALTORS® report.
 
"The month of May ushered in the home sales upswing that we had been expecting," says NAR President John Smaby. "Sales are strengthening in all regions while we see price appreciation for recent buyers."
 
"The purchasing power to buy a home has been bolstered by falling mortgage rates, and buyers are responding," says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR.
 
Compared to last May, sales are still subpar, down 1.1 percent.
 

Credit: National Association of REALTORS®
 
"More new homes need to be built," Yun says. "Otherwise, we risk worsening the housing shortage, and an increasingly number of middle-class families will be unable to achieve homeownership."
 
Across all house types (single-family, condo, co-op and townhome), the median price was $277,700, a 4.8 percent increase year-over-year. The median price for sales in the single-family space was $280,200; the condo median was $257,100. By region:
 
Midwest
Existing-Home Sales: 1.22 million (-3.9% YoY)
Median Price: $220,500 (+5.6% YoY)
 
Northeast
Existing-Home Sales: 670,000 (Unchanged YoY)
Median Price: $304,100 (+6.6% YoY)
 
South
Existing-Home Sales: 2.32 million (+1.3% YoY)
Median Price: $241,400 (+3.6% YoY)
 
West
Existing-Home Sales: 1.13 million (-3.4% YoY)
Median Price: $409,100 (+4.1% YoY)
 
Currently, inventory is at a 4.3-month supply, according to the report. In May, the average listing was on the market for 26 days, two days longer than the prior year. Fifty-three percent of homes were on the market for less than one month.
 
Of May's sales, 4.75 million were single-family—a bump from 4.63 million the month prior, but a decrease from 4.79 million year-over-year. Condo and co-op sales totaled 590,000, a 3.3 percent drop year-over-year. Nineteen percent of sales were all-cash, and 13 percent by individual investors. Two percent were distressed. First-time homebuyers comprised 32 percent of sales.
 
The hottest markets, according to realtor.com®'s Market Hotness Index, which is included in NAR's report, were Rochester, N.Y.; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Lafayette-West Lafayette, Ind.; Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass.; and Midland, Texas.
 
For more information, please visit www.nar.realtor.

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