Existing Home Sales Decline Nearly 10%

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Boat and home sales have been closely tied during past downturns.

Boat and home sales have been closely tied during past downturns.

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.”


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