Publish date:

Existing Home Sales Decline 4 Consecutive Months, Lowest Reading in 11 Months

Sales decline, about to return to pre-Covid levels as prices rise again.
Author:
Existing Home Sales Decline Again 2021-05

The National Association of Realtors reports Existing-Home Sales Experience Slight Skid of 0.9% in May.

Key Highlights

  • Existing-home sales are down for the fourth consecutive month.
  • The median existing-home price for all housing types saw a record year-over-year increase of 23.6% in May 2021.
  • Properties typically sold in 17 days.
  • First-time buyers were responsible for 31% of sales in May, also even with April but down from 34% in May 2020.
  • Individual investors or second-home buyers, who account for many cash sales, purchased 17% of homes in May, even with April and up from 14% in May 2020.
  • All-cash sales accounted for 23% of transactions in May, down from 25% in April and up from 17% in May 2020.
  • A new study released by NAR last week – the 2021 Vacation Home Counties Report – found that from January to April 2021, the share of vacation home sales to total existing-home sales rose to 6.7%. Vacation home sales jumped 57.2% year-over-year compared to the 20% year-over-year growth in total existing-home sales.

"Home sales fell moderately in May and are now approaching pre-pandemic activity," said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist. "Lack of inventory continues to be the overwhelming factor holding back home sales, but falling affordability is simply squeezing some first-time buyers out of the market.

"The market's outlook, however, is encouraging," Yun continued. "Supply is expected to improve, which will give buyers more options and help tamp down record-high asking prices for existing homes."

Sales and Price By Region

RECOMMENDED ARTICLES

  • Existing-home sales in the Northeast decreased 1.4% in May, but the annual rate of 720,000 is a 46.9% jump from a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $384,300, up 17.1% from May 2020.
  • Existing-home sales in the Midwest rose 1.6% to an annual rate of 1,310,000 in May, a 27.2% increase from a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $268,500, an 18.1% increase from May 2020.
  • Existing-home sales in the South declined 0.4%, posting an annual rate of 2,590,000 in May, up 47.2% from the same time one year ago. The median price in the South was $299,400, a 22.6% jump from one year ago.
  • Existing-home sales in the West fell 4.1%, recording an annual rate of 1,180,000 in May, a 61.6% climb from a year ago. The median price in the West was $505,600, up 24.3% from May 2020.

Not Inflation

Home prices are not counted in inflation statistics. If they were, the Fed would see that it has exceeded its goal to overshoot its 2% target "for some time" by a mile.

Mish

Existing Home Sales Drop 6th Consecutive Month

Existing home sales declined 3.4% in September. This was the 6th month and the 5th month below the consensus estimate.

Existing Home Sales Decline Fourth Month

Economists missed the boat again this month expecting a small rebound in existing home sales. Instead, sales fell 0.7%.

Existing Home Sales Decline Third Month Despite Rising Inventory

Existing home sales declined for the third month, fourth year-over-year. May sales were revised lower.

Existing Home Sales Unexpectedly Decline

Existing homes sales fell 0.4% in April. The Consensus expected a rise.

Existing Home Sales Flat Following Four-Month Decline

"It was a disappointment, but at least it wasn't a loss. Existing home sales were expected to increase in August."

Existing Home Sales Unexpectedly Decline to 2017 Lows

On the heels of an unexpected decline in new home sales yesterday, comes news of an unexpected decline in existing home sales today.

Wealth Effect Propels Existing Home Sales: Up Most in 11 Years

Existing-home sales surged for the third straight month in November and reached their strongest pace in almost 11 years.