Existing home sales fell 9.7 percent in May, marking a three-month decline in sales as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Each of the four major regions witnessed dips in month-over-month and year-over-year sales, with the Northeast experiencing the greatest month-over-month drop.
Overall, sales fell 26.6 percent year-over-year from the same period last year, according to NAR.
“Sales completed in May reflect contract signings in March and April – during the strictest times of the pandemic lockdown and hence the cyclical low point,” Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said in a statement . “Home sales will surely rise in the upcoming months with the economy reopening, and could even surpass one-year-ago figures in the second half of the year.”
The median existing-home price was $284,600, a 2.3 percent hike from May 2019, and NAR said the price increases extended to every region. May’s national price increase marks 99 straight months of year-over-year gains.”
Total housing inventory rose 6.2 percent from April for a total of 1.55 million units. Unsold inventory sits at a 4.8-month supply at the current pace, up from 4 months in April.
“New home construction needs to robustly ramp up in order to meet rising housing demand,” Yun said. “Otherwise, home prices will rise too fast and hinder first-time buyers, even at a time of record-low mortgage rates.”