After a promising increase in May, existing home sales dropped as reflected in the June 2019 Housing Market Recap. While two regions saw small gains in sales, they were more than offset by losses in the other two regions. Of course, prices aren’t slowing down. The median sales price for existing homes hit an all-time high. The pace of sales slowed very slightly from both the previous month and a year ago. Finally, lack of inventory is still the story, with no relief in sight.
June existing home sales fell 1.7 percent from May, and are down 2.2 percent compared to June 2018, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) June Existing Home Sales Report, released July 23rd.
Home prices hit an all-time high. The median price of existing homes sold in June was $285,700, an increase of 4.3 percent from June 2018 ($273,800). We’ve now reached 88 consecutive months of year-over-year increases.
Days on the market (DOM) increased slightly from May, moving from 26 to 27. A year ago, homes typically stayed on the market for 26 days. To look at it another way, 56 percent of homes sold within a month of being listed for sale. This housing market continues to move at lightning speed.
Inventory increased slightly from May to June, and year-over-year, but not enough to mark a shift from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market. At the current sales rate the supply of unsold inventory was 4.4 months, up from 4.3 months a year ago. (NAR consider 6 months of inventory a balanced market.)
NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun pointed out that low inventory is (still) a major problem. “Home sales are running at a pace similar to 2015 levels – even with exceptionally low mortgage rates, a record number of jobs and a record high net worth in the country,” said Yun. “Imbalance persists for mid-to-lower priced homes with solid demand and insufficient supply, which is consequently pushing up home prices.”
Regions: Prices up, sales mixed. Comparing June to May, sales rose 1.6 percent in the Midwest, and 1.5 percent in the Northeast, but fell 3.5 percent in West and 3.4 percent in the South. The Midwest led year-over-year price increases at 6.7 percent, followed by the South at 4.9 percent, the Northeast at 4.8 percent, and the West at 2.3 percent.
Buying now? You may feel like you’ve no sooner seen a new listing online than it’s under contract. Improve your chances by following these steps. First, line up your financing (with a First Choice Loan Services Inc. mortgage loan originator, of course!). Next, work with a trusted Realtor® who knows the neighborhoods that interest you. Finally, be flexible. Broaden your search area and look at homes that need some work. At First Choice, we have purchase + renovation loans that allow you to finance the remodeling with your purchase so you only take out one loan and close one time, saving you time and money. Be patient, be persistent, and don’t give up. Your home is out there.