Existing home sales dropped 9.7% in May, according to CNBC, with annual sales dipping to their lowest since 1982. Now well into June and gearing up for July, Realtors are seeing listings pop up and homebuyers returning. The shortage of homes has not helped sales either. As homebuyers start their process, Realtors face slim pickings. With a greater affinity for suburbia overall, builders can find relief in homebuyer’s altered preferences and can benefit from the meager amount of existing homes for sale.
Existing home sales plummeted in May as the coronavirus continued to hammer the economy, but Realtors expect that it will represent the bottom.
Sales of existing homes in May fell 9.7% compared with April, to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 3.91 million units, according to the National Association of Realtors. Sales were down 26.6% annually. That is the largest annual decline since 1982, when interest rates were about 18%. It is also the slowest sales pace since October 2010.
These numbers are based on closed sales, representing contracts signed in March and April. Given that those months saw the worst of the economic shutdown from the coronavirus, it is not surprising that the volume came in so low.