Key Highlights

  • Sales of new single-family homes increased +12.7% y/y and +16.6% m/m in May
  • Sales of existing homes in May fell -9.7% m/m and -26.6% y/y

Sales of new single-family homes were a huge bright light in May’s housing market data. Sales of single-family homes were reported at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 676,000. May sales results of new single-family homes increased +16.6% month-over-month and +12.7% year-over-year.

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According to Holden Lewis, the home and mortgage specialist at NerdWallet, “This was the strongest May for new home sales since 2007, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite stay-home orders and high employment, people were out there, buying newly constructed homes.”

The Northeast region of the US saw the most pronounced increase of new home sales with a +45.5% jump. The West saw an increase of +29% in new single-family home sales and the South saw an increase of +15.2%. The Midwest region of the US was the only outlier and saw sales of new single-family homes drop by -6.4%

The median sales price for new, single-family homes came in at $317,900 in May. The average sales price came in at $368,800. Additionally, there were approximately 318,000 new single-family homes available for sale, a number that translated into a supply of 5.6 months.

The operative word defining a successful sales effort in May was “new.” Consumers able to buy a single-family home during this pandemic economy want a new single-family home… a home supposedly less compromised by the COVID virus than an existing single-family home.

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) tells us that sales of existing single-family homes fell -9.7% m/m and -26.6% y/y. This is the largest annual decline since 1992 when interest rates hit approximately 18%. Additionally, the pace of existing single-family homes sales was the slowest since October 2010.

Meager supply of existing single-family homes for sale appeared to keep pressure on home prices. The median sales price of an existing single-family home was $284,600, an increase of +2.3% from last year and the smallest annual rise since February 2012.

Regionally, existing home sales and prices in May looked like this:

  • Northeast – sales fell -13% m/m and -29.9% y/y and median price was $327,900, an increase of +7.8% y/y
  • Midwest – sales dropped -10% y/y and median price was $227,400, an increase of +2.1% y/y
  • South – sales fell -8% m/m and -25.1% y/y and median price was $247,400, an increase of +2.1% y/y
  • West – sales dropped -11.1% m/m and -35.1% y/y and median price was $408,400, a decrease of -0.2% y/y

Thanks to NerdWallet, MarketWatch CNBC and National Association of REALTORS®.

Also read: Podcast: Are You Actually Choosing To Never Be Rich (and FREE)? | Tim and Julie Harris, Pending Home Sales Plummet Nearly -21% in March, How California Became Nation’s Worst Housing Nightmare