Existing Home Sales Smash Record in June
Surpassing expectations, existing home sales smashed another record in June, rising 2.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 7.33 million from an upwardly revised pace of 7.14 million in May, the National Association of Realtors® announced last week.
Sales — including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and coops — beat the previous record of 7.18 million set this April and were 4.4% brisker than one year earlier.
“Just when you think sales activity is ready to settle into a more sustainable pace, the housing market continues to surprise,” said David Lereah, the Realtors®’ chief economist.
“We’ve been expecting sales to remain at historically high levels,” he said, “but this performance underscores the value of housing as an investment and the importance of homeownership in fulfilling the American dream.”
Home sales continued to receive a boost from low mortgage interest rates in June, when conventional fixed-rate loans averaged 5.58%, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey, down from 5.72% in May and 6.29% a year earlier.
Job growth and further economic improvements also helped stoke housing demand, Lereah said.
The median existing price for all homes sold in June was $219,000, up 14.7% from a median of $191,000 posted in June of 2004. This was the strongest 12-month price increase since November 1980 when annual appreciation was 15.6%, according to the Realtors®.
The median price of an existing condominium in June was $223,500, somewhat higher than the $218,600 for a median single-family home.
Sales of existing condos and coops set a fourth consecutive monthly record in June, rising 4.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 960,000 units, up from 919,000 in May.
Regionally, existing homes sales rose 5.5% in the West, where the median price was $317,000; 3.4% in the Northeast, at a median price of $250,000; 1.9% in the Midwest, at $177,000; and 1.1% in the South, at $177,000
Inventory levels rose 3.8% at the end of June to 2.65 million existing homes for sale, representing a 4.3-month supply at the current sales price, the Realtors® reported.
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