US Existing Home Sales Picked Up In July

Dated: August 27 2019

Views: 218

existing home sales


WASHINGTON—Sales of previously owned U.S. homes picked up in July, suggesting that lower mortgage rates are beginning to drive sales after a weak spring selling season.


Existing-home sales rose 2.5% in July from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.42 million, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected sales to rise 2.3% last month.


Compared with a year earlier, sales in July rose 0.6%, the first increase after a streak of 16 consecutive months of year-over-year declines.


Lawrence Yun, the trade group’s chief economist, said July’s uptick was an “inevitable realization given incredibly low mortgage rates,” alongside strong job conditions.


June’s sales were revised higher, to a 5.29 million annual rate from an earlier estimate of 5.27 million. That capped a weak spring selling season overall. The spring is crucial to the housing market because roughly 40% of the year’s sales take place in March through June.


Still, the housing market’s slight pickup last month is a positive sign for the sector, which has struggled this year despite some favorable conditions for potential buyers.


Mortgage rates have been dropping steadily in recent months. The average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage in July was 3.77%, down from 4.46% six months earlier, according to Freddie Mac.


A shortage of homes for sale in some areas means home prices remain high. The median sale price for an existing home in July was $280,800, up 4.3% from a year earlier. There was a 4.2-supply of homes on the market at the end of July, based on the current sales pace.


For the second half of the year, low inventory remains a challenge for the market, Mr. Yun said.


“The job market still remains strong but there is increasing economic uncertainty,” he said, adding “people may be hesitant to buy a home if they think we may be facing an economic recession.”


Purchases of previously owned homes account for the bulk of U.S. homebuying. The Commerce Department last week reported that home building fell in July for the third straight month. Housing starts, a measure of new-home construction, fell 4% in July from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.191 million.


News Corp., owner of The Wall Street Journal, also operates Realtor.com under license from the National Association of Realtors.


Source

Blog author image

Mark Ross

For Mark Ross, founder of Ross NW Real Estate and professional real estate broker, real estate has always been the career of choice. During his 30 years in the industry, Mark has gained experience in ....

Latest Blog Posts

Does My Real Estate Agent Get Paid If I Dont Buy A House

If you’re a first-time homebuyer (or a longtime homeowner) out there searching for your new home, you may spend quite a lot of time touring houses with your real estate agent.But what happens if

Read More

Mortgage Rates And Home Prices Will Rise In 2022

Economists at Fannie Mae expect an increase in mortgage rates and home prices in 2022 due to higher inflation, a tightening of monetary policy, and low home inventory.Fannie Mae in its October

Read More

Homebuilders Are Growing Concerned About Affordability

Homebuilder confidence continued to rise in October despite increasing affordability issues due to rising material prices and ongoing shortages, according to the latest National Association of Home

Read More

How To Evict A Family Member Or Friend With No Lease

Thinking about evicting a family member with no lease? If you’re feeling more than a bit guilty over the prospect—well, don’t be so hard on yourself: You have plenty of company on this one

Read More