Existing-home sales decreased 0.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.34 million in July, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). This followed a 0.6 percent decline in June. Sales are 1.5 percent below the July 2017 level.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the continuous solid gains in home prices have now steadily reduced demand. “Led by a notable decrease in closings in the Northeast, existing home sales trailed off again last month, sliding to their slowest pace since February 2016 at 5.21 million,” he said. “Too many would-be buyers are either being priced out, or are deciding to postpone their search until more homes in their price range come onto the market.”
The total housing inventory fell 0.5 percent to 1.92 million homes available for sale, unchanged from a year ago. The median existing home price was $269,600, up 4.5 percent from July 2017 ($258,100). This marks the 77th straight month of year-over-year gains.
Distressed sales were 3.0 percent of the total, unchanged from last month and down 5.0 percent from a year ago. Two percent of sales were foreclosures, and 1.0 percent were short sales.
Read the NAR release.