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Existing-home sales fall in June

U.S. home sales slipped in June despite sustaining a brisk selling pace caused by tight supplies.

The annual pace of existing-home sales fell to an annual rate of 5.52 million in June, a 1.8 percent decrease from May’s 5.62 million pace, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). June’s sales pace was still 0.7 percent higher year over year, but was the second-lowest of this year behind the February pace of 5.47 million.Price

The tight inventories of available houses for sale that has produced a near-record selling pace and rapidly increasing home prices across the country throughout most of the year has finally begun hampering homebuyers’ abilities to find and purchase homes.

“Interested buyers are being tripped up by supply that remains stuck at a meager level and price growth that’s straining their budget,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.

The housing inventory stood at just 1.96 million homes at the end of June, a 0.5 percent decline from May and 7.1 percent drop from the June 2016 inventory level of 2.11 million, according to NAR. The supply of available homes for sale has declined on a year-over-year basis for 25 consecutive months, NAR reported.

High demand and a shortage of homes has pushed median existing-home prices to $263,800 as of June, surpassing May’s $252,800 mark by 4.4 percent to set a new high. This past June was the 64th straight month of year-over year gains in median existing-home price, according to NAR.

“Listings in the affordable price range continue to be scooped up rapidly,” Yun said, “but the severe housing shortages inflicting many markets are keeping a large segment of would-be buyers on the sidelines.”

Although the average time a property stayed on the market increased to 28 days in June from 27 days in May, Homes are still selling 18 percent faster than a year ago, when it took an average of 34 days for a home to sell, according NAR. More than half (54 percent) of all homes sold in June were on the market for less than a month, NAR reported.

All of these issues are hurting first-time buyers as well. Sales to first-time buyers slipped 1 percentage point from 33 percent in May to 32 percent in June, according to NAR. the association had previously reported that the percent of first-time buyers in 2016 was 35 percent.

“It’s shaping up to be another year of below average sales to first-time buyers despite a healthy economy that continues to create jobs,” said Yun.


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