The National Association of Realtors this morning (June 25) reported total existing-home sales for May of a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.99 million, a drop of 0.3% from April and 10.3% from the same month last year.
Single-family home sales were down 0.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.20 million in May from an upwardly revised 5.24 million in April, 10.8% below May 2006's 5.83 million. Existing condominium and co-op sales rose 2.6% to a rate of 790,000 units, up from 770,000 in April but down 6.7% from 847,000 in May 2006.
The median existing-home price for all housing types was down 2.1% from May2006 to $223,700 in May, 2007. The median existing single-family home price was $223,000 in May, down 2.4% from May 2006. The median existing condo price was $228,200 in May, down 0.4 percent from a year ago. The Realtor association cautioned that there is a "temporary distortion" in the pricing data because sales have shifted away from higher-cost markets during the past year.
Inventory rose 5.0% in May to 4.43 million existing homes, an 8.9-month supply, up from an 8.4-month supply in April. That's the highest months-supply number since 1992.
Lawrence Yun, NAR senior economist, said, ³I think psychological factors are currently the biggest drag on the housing market, in addition to a disruption from tighter credit for subprime borrowers. Household formation has slowed dramatically since late 2006, implying that many people are doubling-up they¹re adding roommates or moving in with parents. The market is underperforming when you consider positive fundamentals such as the strength in job creation, economic growth, favorable mortgage interest rates and flat home prices. It appears some buyers are simply waiting for more signs of stability before they get serious about getting into the market.²
According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage was 6.26 percent in May, up from6.18 percent in April; the rate was 6.60 percent in May 2006.
Regionally, existing-home sales were up 5.8% in the Northeast to 1.1 million, 3.5% below May 2006. Prices were up 0.5% to $282,700.
Existing-home sales in the Midwest were up 0.7% in May to a level of 1.41 million, 6.6% below a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $168,800, 1.7% below May 2006.
Existing-home sales in the West slipped 0.8 percent in May to an annual pace of 1.18 million, 16.3% below May 2006. The median price in the West was $341,900, a drop of 0.5% from last May.
Sales in the South fell 3.4% to an annualized 2.30 million in May, a drop of 11.9% from last year May numbers. The median price was down 3.8% to $184,000.