Existing-Home Sales Boosted by Lower Mortgage Rates

August 22, 2019
existing home
Photo: Unsplash/Jessica Furtney

Existing-home sales saw a minor rebound in June, due in large part to lower mortgage rates, the National Association of Home Builders reports.

Total existing home sales, including single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, climbed 2.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.42 million in July. On a year-over-year basis, sales were 0.6% up than a year ago, the first year-over-year gain in seventeen months.

The July median sales price of all existing homes was $280,800, up 4.3% from a year ago, representing the 89th consecutive month of year-over-year increases. The median existing condominium/co-op price of $254,300 in June was up 2.5% from a year ago.

Falling mortgage rates should expand affordability and attract more buyers. However, tight inventory, especially of affordable homes, remains a headwind for homebuyers, as it leads to home price appreciation. NAR suggests more inventory is needed. Meanwhile, builder confidence rose one point to 66 in August, but builders continued to struggle with rising construction costs and labor shortages which are hurting affordability and depressing supply.

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