Existing-home sales fell 3.4% in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.41 million, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Sales fell year-over-year, down 8.6% from May 2021. First-time buyers were responsible for 27% of sales in May, down from 28% in April and down from 31% in May 2021.
“Home sales have essentially returned to the levels seen in 2019—prior to the pandemic—after two years of gangbuster performance,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Also, the market movements of single-family and condominium sales are nearly equal, possibly implying that the preference towards suburban living over city life that had been present over the past two years is fading with a return to pre-pandemic conditions.”
The total housing inventory in May was 1.16 million units, up 12.6% from April’s inventory and down 4.1% from one year ago (1.21 million). The median home price was $407,600, up 14.8% from May 2021 ($355,000), as prices rose in every region. This marks 123 straight months of year-over-year gains and is the first time median existing-home sales price exceeded $400,000.
Distressed sales—foreclosures and short sales—represented less than 1% of sales in May, essentially unchanged from the April 2022 and May 2021.
Read the NAR release.