Existing home sales drop as prices reach record highs

Existing home sales decreased 1.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.52 million in June, down from 5.62 million in May. June’s sales pace is 0.7 percent above the previous year, but is the second lowest in 2017.

The median existing home price for all housing types was $263,800 in June, up 6.5 percent from a year ago. Last month’s median sales price surpasses May as the new peak and marks the 64ht consecutive month of year-over-year price gains.

“The demand for buying a home is as strong as it has been since before the Great Recession. Listings in the affordable price range continue to be scooped up rapidly, but the severe housing shortages inflicting many markets are keeping a large segment of would-be buyers on the sidelines,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors.

Total housing inventory declined 0.5 percent to 1.96 million existing homes available for sale at the end of June. Inventory is now 7.1 percent lower than it was in June 2016 and has fallen year over year for 25 consecutive months. Unsold inventory is at a supply of 4.3 months at the current sales pace, down from 4.6 months in the previous year.

First-time buyers were 32 percent of sales in June, down from 33 percent both in May and in June 2016.

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