Total existing home sales grew 1.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.53 million in May from a downwardly revised 5.43 million in April. Sales are now up 4.5 percent from May 2015 and are at their highest annual pace since February 2007.
The median existing home price for all housing types in May was $239,700, up 4.7 percent from May 2015 and surpassing the peak median sales price of $236,300 set last June. May’s price increase marks the 51st consecutive month of year-over-year gains.
Total housing inventory at the end of May rose 1.4 percent to 2.15 million existing homes available for sale, but is still 5.7 percent lower than the previous year. Unsold inventory is at a supply of 4.7 months at the current sales pace, unchanged from April.
First-time home buyers represented 30 percent of the market in Mat, down from 32 percent both in April and a year ago. First-time buyers in all of 2015 also represented an average of 30 percent.
New home sales
Sales of new single-family houses were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 551,000 in May. This is 6.0 percent below the revised April rate of 586,000 but is 8.7 percent above the May 2015 estimate of 507,000.
The median sales price of new houses sold in May 2016 was $290,400 and the average sales price was $358,900. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of May was 244,000, which represents a supply of 5.3 months at the current sales rate.
Privately owned housing starts were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,164,000 in May. This is 0.3 percent below the revised April estimate of 1,167,000 but is 9.5 percent above the May 2015 rate of 1,163,000.
Single-family housing starts were at a rate of 764,000 in May, 0.3 percent above the revised April figure of 762,000.
Privately owned housing completions were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 988,000 in May. This is 5.1 percent above the revised April estimate of 940,000 but is 3.5 percent below the May 2015 rate of 1,024,000.
Single-family housing completions were at a rate of 717,000 in May, 2.3 percent above the revised April rate of 701,000.