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Financial News: U.S. Existing Home Sales Decrease Roughly In Line

U.S. Existing Home Sales Decrease Roughly In Line With Estimates In May

06/21/2024 - 10:44:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The National Association of Realtors released a report on Friday showing existing home sales in the U.S. decreased roughly in line with economist estimates in the month of May.

The report said existing home sales slid 0.7 percent to an annual rate of 4.11 million in May after tumbling by 1.9 percent to an annual rate of 4.14 million. Economists had expected existing home sales to drop to a rate of 4.10 million.

The continued decline by existing home sales came as the median existing-home price reached a record high $419,300 in May, up 5.8 percent from $396,500 a year ago.

"Home prices reaching new highs are creating a wider divide between those owning properties and those who wish to be first-time buyers," said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.

"The mortgage payment for a typical home today is more than double that of homes purchased before 2020," he added. "Still, first-time buyers in the market understand the long-term benefits of owning."

The report also said housing inventory at the end of May totaled 1.28 million units, up 6.7 percent from 1.20 million units in April and up 18.5 percent from 1.08 million units a year ago.

The unsold inventory represents 3.7 months of supply at the current sales pace, up from 3.5 months in April and 3.1 months in May 2023.

"Eventually, more inventory will help boost home sales and tame home price gains in the upcoming months," said Yun. "Increased housing supply spells good news for consumers who want to see more properties before making purchasing decisions."

Next Wednesday, the Commerce Department is scheduled to release a separate report on new home sales in the month of May.

Economists currently expect new home sales to climb to an annual rate of 650,000 in May from a rate of 634,000 in April.

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