‘Severe Housing Shortages’ Curb Existing-Home Sales Nationally
The number of existing homes sold nationwide in June was slightly higher than the same month last year but dropped 1.8 percent from May, as shrinking supplies and rising prices kept many potential buyers on the sidelines, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors.
Inventories tightened and prices rose in North Phoenix, too, according to the June Real Estate Watch report released last week by In&Out Magazine and North Phoenix News. The big difference: The number of homes sold in June across the five zones of NoPho was 21 percent above May.
“Interested buyers are being tripped up by supply that remains stuck at a meager level and price growth that’s straining their budget,” Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said of the national picture. “The demand for buying a home is as strong as it has been since before the Great Recession. Listings in the affordable price range continue to be scooped up rapidly, but the severe housing shortages inflicting many markets are keeping a large segment of would-be buyers on the sidelines.”
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Median price for existing home sales — single-family houses, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops — in June was $263,800, up 6.5 percent from June 2016, the NAR reports. It was the 64th straight month of year-over-year gains. The median price in the 13 western states, including Arizona, was $378,100, up 7.4 percent from June 2016.
Inventory declined 0.5 percent in June to 1.96 million existing homes available for sale — 7.1 percent lower than a year ago. The supply of unsold inventory is at 4.3 months at the current sales pace, down from 4.6 months a year ago.
Each of the five NoPho zones has tighter inventory compared to the national figure:
Buyers could see better opportunities in coming months, based on historical patterns.
“Prospective buyers who postponed their home search this spring because of limited inventory may have better luck as the summer winds down,” said NAR President William E. Brown. “The pool of buyers this time of year typically begins to shrink as households with children have likely closed on a home before school starts. Inventory remains extremely tight, but patience may pay off in coming months for those looking to buy.”
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