Sales of existing homes across the country fell for the second month in a row in May, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors. Home sales in May were 3 percent lower than a year ago. Yet prices continued rising.
The median sales price for existing-homes in May was $264,800, up 4.9 percent from last May to another all-time high. It was the 75th straight month of year-over-year gains, as prices in most of the country recently climbed past the lofty values of 2006, before the housing crash.
The picture was different locally. Sales of existing homes in May across NoPho, the I-17 corridor from Norterra to New River, were 19 percent higher than May 2017, according to the monthly analysis by North Phoenix News and In&Out Magazine reported last week. Ongoing tight inventory in most zones, along with the brisk sales, continued the years-long upward pressure on prices. Details locally:
Nationwide and locally, a tight supply of homes for sale—especially on the affordable end of the scale—has been blamed for the modest sales numbers and the rising prices.
“Closings were down in a majority of the country last month and declined on an annual basis in each major region,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Incredibly low supply continues to be the primary impediment to more sales, but there’s no question the combination of higher prices and mortgage rates are pinching the budgets of prospective buyers, and ultimately keeping some from reaching the market.”
The NAR report includes sales of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops.
Unsold inventory is at a 4.1-month supply nationally. It was 4.2 months a year ago. Anything under 6 months is considered a seller’s market, tending to put upward pressure on prices. Inventory in some NoPho zones is even lower (see links above).