Existing-Home Sales Edge Up in July

August 22, 2019
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Photo: Unsplash/Maddi Bazzocco

Existing-home sales were up a modest 2.5% in July from a month prior, spurred by lower mortgage rates, MarketWatch reports.

Existing-homes occurred at a 5.42 million seasonally-adjusted annual pace, up from a revised 5.29 million in June, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday. Compared with a year ago, sales were 0.6% higher.

The median sales price increased 4.3% from the prior year to $280,800. While the rate of home price appreciations has slowed considerably this year, prices continue to rise thanks largely to the constrained inventory of homes for sale.

Sales surged 8.3% in the West and increased by a more modest 1.6% in the Midwest and 1.8% in the South. In the Northeast, transactions fell 2.9%, even though this was the only region that did not see home prices rise over the past year.

The precipitous drop in mortgage rates throughout 2019 has translated into the largest spate of refinance activity in years, but has yet to spark a resurgence in home buying. Would-be buyers are still hamstrung by the lack of inventory. As of July, it would take 4.2 months for all homes available on the market to be sold, down from 4.4 months in June. That’s well under the 6-month benchmark for home inventory that designates whether the market is balanced, suggesting that it is still a seller’s market.

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