July existing home sales dropped for the fourth month in a row, and hit their lowest rate in over 2 years. Prices increased again, as they have for over 6 years. The pace of sales was one day slower than it was in June, but homes are still selling quickly, with days on the market below 30. There are some regional variations in sales, but the overall picture shows a very tight market. I hate to say it, but lack of inventory has become the never-ending story. In a nutshell, the July 2018 Housing Market Recap: Sales Drop, Prices Rise.
July existing home sales dropped by 0.7 percent compared to June, and were 1.5 percent lower than July 2017, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) July Existing Home Sales Report, released August 22nd. This is the fifth month of year-over-year decreases.
Inventory fell from June to July by 0.5 percent, and was unchanged from a year ago. At the current sales pace, the supply of unsold inventory was 4.3 months, the same as a year ago.
Home prices continued to increase year-over-year. The median price of existing homes sold in July was $269,600, an increase of 4.5 percent from July 2017 ($258,100). We’ve now reached 77 consecutive months of year-over-year increases.
Days on the market (DOM) were up slightly from June, moving from 26 to 27, but that’s not much of a difference. A year ago, homes typically stayed on the market for 30 days, so the sales pace has increased slightly year-over-year.
According to NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun, “Listings continue to go under contract in under month, which highlights the feedback from Realtors® that buyers are swiftly snatching up moderately-priced properties,” said Yun. “Existing supply is still not at a healthy level, and new home construction is not keeping up to meet demand.”
Regional variations. The Northeast took the biggest hit in home sales, dropping by 8.3 percent from June, and 1.5 percent from a year ago. The West was the one region where sales increased, rising by 4.4 percent from June but falling 4.0 percent compared to July 2017. Prices rose year-over-year in every region, up 2.5 percent in the Midwest, 2.7 percent in the South, 5.1 percent in the West, and 6.8 percent in the Northeast. Midland, TX remained at the top of the hottest metro areas list (measured by days on the market/listing views per property). The rest of the Top 10 are Fort Wayne, IN, Boise City, ID, San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA, Columbus, OH, Colorado Springs, CO, Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI, Racine, WI, Vallejo-Fairfield, CA, and Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV.
I want to buy a home! Don’t be discouraged; be prepared. Think financing first. Meet with a First Choice Loan Services Inc. Loan Originator and find out what loan options are available to you. Work with a Realtor® who knows the area where you want to buy a home. Internet searches are popular and valuable, but if you rely solely on online information, your dream home may be gone before you can view it.