By ALEX VEIGA, AP News.
Sales of previously occupied U.S. homes rose in June, snapping a four-month losing streak, while strong demand for higher-end properties and ultra-low mortgage rates helped push prices to new highs.
Existing homes sales rose 1.4% last month from May to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.86 million units, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday. Sales jumped 22.9% from June last year.
Economists were expecting that sales increased to an annual rate of 5.90 million, according to FactSet.
The median U.S. home price climbed 23.4% from a year earlier to a record $363,300. This marks 112 straight months of year-over-year gains.
“At a broad level, home prices are in no danger of a decline due to tight inventory conditions, but I do expect prices to appreciate at a slower pace by the end of the year,” Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist said. “Ideally, the costs for a home would rise roughly in line with income growth, which is likely to happen in 2022 as more listings and new construction become available.”
Home sales have been slowing as soaring prices and a limited number of available homes on the market have discouraged many would-be buyers.
At the end of June, the inventory of unsold homes stood at just 1.25 million homes for sale, down 18.8% from a year ago. At the current sales pace, that amounts to a 2.6 months’ supply, the NAR said.
“Supply has modestly improved in recent months due to more housing starts and existing homeowners listing their homes, all of which has resulted in an uptick in sales,” said Yun. “Home sales continue to run at a pace above the rate seen before the pandemic.”
Existing-home sales in the South were unchanged from May, posting an annual rate of 2,590,000 in June, up 19.4% from the same time one year ago. The median price in the South was $311,600, a 21.4% climb from one year ago.
Existing-home sales in the Northeast increased 2.8% in June, recording an annual rate of 740,000, a 45.1% rise from a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $412,800, up 23.6% from June 2020.
Existing-home sales in the Midwest rose 3.1% to an annual rate of 1,330,000 in June, an 18.8% increase from a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $278,700, an 18.5% increase from June 2020.
Existing-home sales in the West rose 1.7%, registering an annual rate of 1,200,000 in June, a 23.7% jump from a year ago. The median price in the West was $507,000, up 17.6% from June 2020.