Total existing-home sales declined 5.4 percent to 4.37 million in June, however they are up 4.5 percent from a year ago.
The market is gaining, in part due to pent-up demand among all home buyers and tight inventory throughout the market, but first time home buyers looking for properties in lower price ranges are especially challenged.
Prices are rising, partly due to fewer distressed homes on the market, up almost 8 percent from a year ago.
The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $189,400 in June, up 7.9 percent from a year ago.
June also marks four back-to-back monthly price increases from a year earlier. The last time we saw this was February to May of 2006.
Regional EHS Data
Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast dropped 11.5 percent to an annual pace of 540,000 in June but are 1.9 percent above June 2011. The median price in the Northeast was $253,700, down 1.8 percent from a year ago.
Existing-home sales in the Midwest slipped 1.9 percent in June to a level of 1.02 million but are 14.6 percent higher than a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $157,600, up 8.4 percent from June 2011.
In the South, existing-home sales declined 4.4 percent to an annual pace of 1.73 million in June but are 5.5 percent above June 2011. The median price in the South was $165,000, up 6.6 percent from a year ago.
Existing-home sales in the West fell 6.9 percent to an annual level of 1.08 million in June and are 3.6 percent below a year ago. The median price in the West was $233,300, up 13.3 percent from May 2011. Given tight supply in both the low and middle price ranges in this region, sales in the West are stronger in the higher price ranges.
Lawrence Yun is Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research at NAR. He directs research activity for the association and regularly provides commentary on real estate market trends for its 1 million REALTOR® members.