After two months of sales declines, existing home sales rose, as reflected in the May 2019 Housing Market Recap. All regions saw sales gains, with the Northeast leading the charge. Prices increased yet again, while the pace of sales dropped slightly from the previous month. Although inventory rose, it remains near historic lows and continues to dominate the market narrative.
May existing home sales rose 2.5 percent from April, but are down 1.1 percent compared to May 2018, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) May Existing Home Sales Report, released June 21st.
Inventory increased from April to May, and was up year-over-year. At the current sales rate the supply of unsold inventory was 4.3 months, up from 4.2 months a year ago.
Home prices continued to increase year-over-year. The median price of existing homes sold in May was $277,700, an increase of 4.8 percent from May 2018 ($265,100). We’ve now reached 87 consecutive months of year-over-year increases.
Days on the market (DOM) increased slightly from April, moving from 24 to 26. A year ago, homes also typically stayed on the market for 26 days. The small increase in month-to-month DOM has little impact on the speed of the market. It’s still moving fast!
NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun considers low inventory an ongoing problem and thinks that an increase in new construction is critical. “More new homes need to be built,” he said. “Otherwise, we risk worsening the housing shortage, and an increasingly number of middle-class families will be unable to achieve homeownership.”
Regions: Sales and prices rise. Comparing May to April, sales rose 4.7 percent in the Northeast, 3.4 percent in the Midwest, and 1.8 percent in both the South and West. The Northeast also led year-over-year price increases at 6.6 percent, followed by Midwest at 5.6 percent, the West at 4.1 percent, and the South at 3.6 percent. Rochester, NY, took top honors this month on the hottest metro areas list (days on the market/listing views per property). The rest of the May Top 10 were Fort Wayne, IN, Lafayette-West Lafayette, IN, Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH, Midland, TX, Columbus, OH, Manchester-Nashua, NH, Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA, Yuba City, CA, and Pueblo, CO.
Low Inventory Is The Never-Ending Story. If you’re selling, you’re in good shape (as long as you have a place to move!). If you’re buying, it may feel like you’re running a marathon. Or maybe a series of sprints. Get a fast start by finding out how much home you can afford, and then learning what loan options are available to you. Talk to a First Choice Loan Services Inc. mortgage loan originator. Every journey starts with a single step, including your journey to a new home.