Existing-home sales decreased 1.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.44 million in July, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Sales are 2.1% above a year ago, but are at the lowest level of 2017.
“Buyer interest in most of the country has held up strongly this summer and homes are selling fast, but the negative effect of not enough inventory to choose from and its pressure on overall affordability put the brakes on what should’ve been a higher sales pace,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Contract activity has mostly trended downward since February and ultimately put a large dent on closings last month.”
The total housing inventory fell 1.0% to 1.92 million homes available for sale, while the median existing home price dropped to $258,300, up 6.2% from July 2016 ($243,200). This marks the 65th straight month of year-over-year gains.
Distressed sales were 5% of the total in July, unchanged from a year. Four percent of sales were foreclosures and 1% were short sales.
Read the NAR release.