Existing home sales continue slide

By Vincent Salandro | Builder

Total existing-home sales, which includes sales of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops, decreased for the sixth consecutive month in July, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Sales fell 5.9% from June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.81 million in July. On a year-over-year basis, sales fell 20.2% in July.

“The ongoing sales decline reflects the impact of the mortgage rate peak of 6% in early June,” says NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. “Home sales may soon stabilize since mortgage rates have fallen to near 5%, thereby giving an additional boost of purchasing power to home buyers.”

According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate for a 30-year conventional, fixed-rate mortgage was 5.41% in July, down from 5.52% in June. The average commitment rate across all of 2021 was 2.96%.

Total housing inventory at the end of July was 1,310,000 units, an increase of 4.8% from June and level with inventory levels in July 2021. Unsold inventory sits at a 3.3-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 2.9 months in June. The median existing-home price for all housing types in July was $403,800, up 10.8% on a year-over-year basis, marking the 125th consecutive month of year-over-year price increases.

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