NAR released a summary of existing-home sales data showing that May’s existing-home sales increased year over year for the 8th consecutive month, as sales reach the 5.35 million seasonal annual adjusted rate. May’s sales are the highest pace since November 2009 jumping up 9.2% from a year ago, while sales moved up 5.1% from last month.
The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $228,700 in May, up 7.9% from a year ago, the highest since July 2006.
Regionally, all four regions showed growth in prices from a year ago. The West had the largest gain at 10.2% while the Northeast had the smallest gain at 4.8% from last May. All regions showed an increase in sales from a year ago, and the Northeast had the biggest gain at 11.3% while the South had the smallest gain at 6.9%. The South leads all regions in percentage of sales at 41% while the Northeast has the smallest share at 13%.
May’s inventory figures increased 3.2% from last month and are up 1.8 % from a year ago. It will take 5.1 months to move the current level of inventory at the current sales pace. It takes approximately 40 days for a home to go from listing to a contract in the current housing market.
Single-family sales are stronger than condo sales, increasing 5.6% while condo sales rose modestly (1.6%) from last month. Single-family home sales increased 9.7% from a year ago, while condo sales rose by 5.1%. Both single-family and condos had an increase in price with single-family up 8.6% and condo up 1.9% from a year ago, May 2014.
We saw meaningful gains in first-time home buyers in May as they rose to be 32% of buyers. This may be a result of the FHA premium reductions or Fannie and Freddie low down payment options which are opening up opportunities for first timers to purchase homes. Additionally, with signs of mortgage rates going up there is often a surge of buyers hoping to purchase before the increase in rates. Home prices continue to move up and potential buyers may want to lock in before rates increase making a home purchase less affordable.