After declining sales during March and April, existing home sales increased by +2.5% during May 2019. Even with that kick, existing sales in May were still below the May 2018 level by -11%, according to the latest data released by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

NAR’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun said, “The purchasing power to buy a home has been bolstered by falling mortgage rates and buyers are responding…solid demand along with inadequate inventory of affordable homes have pushed the median price of existing homes to a new record high.”

That record high of a median priced existing home hit $280,200, an increase of +4.8% in May 2019, the 87th consecutive month of y/y gains. And even at historic inventory lows, inventory of unsold supply increased at a pace of 4.3 months, up from 4.2 months in May 2018 while days on the market hit 26, up from 24 days in April 2019. CoreLogic indicated that 53% of homes on the market to sell stayed on the market less than one month.

Condominium and co-op sales were up +5.4% from May 2018 with a median price of $257,200 in this sector of the housing market.

Regionally, according to NAR president John Smaby, “Sales are strengthening in all regions while we see some price appreciation for recent buyers.”

  • Northeast saw sales up +4.7% in May compared to April 2019 and the median price of an existing home rise to $304,100, +6.6% from May 2018.
  • Midwest saw sales up +3.4% from April 2019 but still -3.9% from May 2018. Median price of an existing home increased +5.6% compared with May 2018, $220,500.
  • South saw sales increase +1.8% from April 2019 and an increase of +3.6% from May 2018 to $241,400.
  • West saw sales rise +1.8% from April 2019 though remained down -3.4% from May 2018. The median price of an existing home increased +4.1% from one year ago to $409,100.

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