From the National Association of Realtors:
May Existing Home Sales (PDF)
Nationally, Existing home sales for May fell 1.2% from April, and 6.6% from last May. The Northeast saw a 4.2% monthly decline, and a 5% year over year decline in volume. April sales were revised downward to 6.75m from a 6.76m yearly rate.
Inventory of existing homes increased significantly in May, up 5.5% from April, and up 41% in the last 12 months. Months supply now stands at 6.5 months, up from 6.1 months in April, and up from 4.3 months last May.
Sales of previously owned homes in the U.S. fell in May to the lowest since January as higher mortgage rates sapped demand, a private report today showed.
Resales declined 1.2 percent to an annual rate of 6.67 million, from 6.75 million in April, the National Association of Realtors said today in Washington. Sales fell 6.6 percent compared with a year earlier.
Housing will be a drag on the economy this year as buyers are deterred by the highest mortgage rates since 2002, economists say. An unexpected increase in sales of new homes reported by the Commerce Department yesterday bears out Federal Reserve predictions that the cooling will be gradual.
“The general trend is toward weaker housing market activity,” Anthony Chan, chief economist at JPMorgan Private Client Services in Columbus, Ohio, said before the report. “More and more people are being priced out of the housing market, precisely at a time when rates are going up.”
Resales were expected to decline to an annual rate of 6.6 million from April’s originally reported 6.76 million, according to the median estimate of 58 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. Forecasts ranged from 6.43 million to 6.88 million.
Before the May report, existing home sales fell in all but four months since May 2005, the Realtors’ reports showed. Existing home sales account for about 85 percent of the housing market and are recorded when a contract is closed.
The supply of homes rose 5.5 percent to 3.6 million, bringing inventories up to 6.5 months’ worth at the end of May.
The median price of an existing home rose 6 percent in May from a year earlier to $230,000, the Realtors group said.
Resales of single-family homes fell 1.5 percent to an annual rate of 5.82 million. Sales of condos and co-ops rose 1.9 percent to an 852,000 rate.
Purchases fell 4.2 percent in the Northeast to 1.13 million and fell 3.8 percent in the Midwest. They rose 0.4 percent in the South and rose 0.7 percent in the West.