Strained home supply leads to dip in existing-home sales in May, prices continue upward

A limited supply of homes has lead to a drop in the number of existing-home sales in May, but numbers are still ahead of those from a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors.

June 22, 2012

A limited supply of homes has lead to a drop in the number of existing-home sales in May, but numbers are still ahead of those from a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Home prices have increased in all regions: The national median existing-home price for all home types rose 7.9 percent to $182,600 in May from a year ago, says NAR.

By the end of May, total housing inventory had slipped 0.4 percent to 2.49 million existing homes available for sale. 

Total existing-home sales, or completed purchases that include single-family houses, townhouse, condominiums and co-ops, declined 1.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.55 million in May. That still ranks 9.6 percent above the 4.15 million-unit pace from May 2011. 

Other May stats include:

  • Distressed homes-- foreclosures or short sales that is, accounted for 25 percent of sales, down from 28 percent in April
  • Existing-home sales in the Northeast fell 4.8 percent to an annual level of 590,000
  • First-time buyers accounted for 34 percent of purchases, similar to 35 percent in April 

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