Economic Snapshot: Existing home sales at highest pace in over nine years

In addition to high existing home sales, the percentage of first-time buyers is at its highest level in four years.

Existing home sales

Total existing home sales increased 1.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.57 million in June, from a downwardly revised 5.51 million in May. Sales are now up 3.0 percent from June 2015 and remain at their highest pace since February 2007.

The median existing home price for all housing types was $247,700 in June, up 4.8 percent from June 2015. June’s price increase marks the 52nd consecutive month of year-over-year gains and surpasses May’s median sales price of $238,900.

Total housing inventory at the end of June dipped 0.9 percent to 2.12 million existing homes available for sale and is now 5.8 percent below the previous year’s inventory. Unsold inventory is at a supply of 4.6 months at the current sales pace, down from 4.7 months in May.

The share of first-time home buyers was 33 percent in June, up from 30 percent in May and the previous year. It is also the highest percentage since July 2012.

Housing starts

Privately owned housing starts were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,189,000 in June. This is 4.8 percent above the revised May estimate of 1,135,000 but is 2.0 percent below the June 2015 of 1,213,000.

Single-family housing starts were at a rate of 778,000 in June. This is 4.4 percent above the revised May figure of 745,000.

Privately owned housing completions were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,147,000 in June. This is 12.3 percent above the revised May estimate of 1,021,000 and 18.7 percent above the June 2015 rate of 966,000.

Single-family housing completions were at a rate of 752,000 in June. This is 3.7 percent above the revised May rate of 725,000.

Housing Market Index

Builder confidence dropped one point to 59 in July, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index.

All three components declined in July. The components measuring current sales expectations and buyer traffic each dipped one point top 63 and 45, respectively. The index measuring sales expectations in the next six months fell three points to 66.

Looking at three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the Northeast, Midwest and South were unchanged at 39, 57 and 61, respectively. The West increased one point to 69.


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