Existing-Home Sales Fell in July

Existing-home sales fell 3.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million in July, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Year-over-year sales fell for the first time since November 2015, down 1.6% from last July. The annual sales rate fell 13.2% in the Northeast, 5.2% in the Midwest and 1.8% in the South. Sales in the West rose 2.5%.

“Severely restrained inventory and the tightening grip it’s putting on affordability is the primary culprit for the considerable sales slump throughout much of the country last month,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Furthermore, with new condo construction barely budging and currently making up only a small sliver of multi-family construction, sales suffered last month as condo buyers faced even stiffer supply constraints than those looking to purchase a single-family home.”

Total housing inventory increased 0.9% to 2.13 million homes available for sale, while the median existing-home price moved up 5.3% from a year ago to $244,100.

Distressed sales comprised 5% of sales in July, the lowest share since NAR began tracking them in 2008. Four percent of sales were foreclosures and 1% were short sales. On average, foreclosures and short sales sold for discounts of 18% and 16% respectively.

Read the NAR release.