Existing home sales decrease in May

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.