Existing-Home Sales Up 4.9% to 4.89 Million – NAR

In its latest report, the National Association of Realtors has revealed the housing numbers for the previous month. According to a statement, the existing-home sales have increased considerably in May, while the inventory growth has helped a moderate price gains. In this way, total existing-home sales, which represent finalized transactions including single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, went up by seasonally adjusted 4.9% to 4.89 million, and from 4.66 million in April.

Housing Market

The 4.9% on the month increase is the highest monthly gain since August 2011, when the rate amounted to 5.5%. However, the numbers are a bit weaker when compared to the last year result of a 5.0% rate and 5.15 million units sold in May 2013.

“Home buyers are benefiting from slower price growth due to the much-needed, rising inventory levels seen since the beginning of the year,” he said. “Moreover, sales were helped by the improving job market and the temporary but slight decline in mortgage rates,” said Lawrence Yun, the chief economist of the National Association of Realtors.

The statement added that at the end of May, the total housing inventory added 2.2% to 2.28 million existing homes for sale, which is a 5.6-month supply at the current sales pace, versus 5.7 months in April. The unsold inventory has went up by 6% on the year, from 2.15 million existing homes available for sale. At the same time, the median home price for different housing types in May amounted to $213,400, which represents a 5.1% increase on the year.

“Rising inventory bodes well for slower price growth and greater affordability, but the amount of homes for sale is still modestly below a balanced market. Therefore, new home construction is still needed to keep prices and housing supply healthy in the long run,” Mr. Yun commented.

The statement also quoted the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) that the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage has fell to 4.19% last month, from 4.34% in April, which represents the smallest rate since June 2013, when the rate amounted to 4.07%.

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