According to the National Association of Realtors, in May, there was happy celebration as existing-home sales improved and these numbers remain solidly above a year ago, while the median price continued to rise by double-digit rates from a year earlier. Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, rose 4.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.18 million in May from 4.97 million in April, and is 12.9 percent above the 4.59 million-unit pace in May 2012. With housing numbers positive and expected to rise, you might, but that may not be the case. Despite this gain, don’t expect the number of homes available to gain unless new home construction also begins to grow. However, this could moderate the price of new homes in the future.
Right now, existing-home sales are at the highest level they’ve been since November 2009. That’s when we saw the market jumped to 5.44 million as buyers took advantage of tax stimulus. Sales have stayed above year-ago levels for 23 months, while the national median price shows 15 consecutive months of year-over-year increases. Fantastic, right?
Want some more numbers? The total housing inventory at the end of May rose 3.3 percent to 2.22 million existing homes available for sale. That represents a 5.1-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from 5.2 months in April. The listed inventory is 10.1 percent below a year ago, when there was a 6.5-month supply. The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $208,000 in May, up 15.4 percent from May 2012. This is a brilliant six straight months of double-digit increases; the strongest price gain since October 2005, when numbers jumped a record 16.6 percent from a year earlier, 2004. The last time there were 15 consecutive months of year-over-year price increases was from March 2005 to May 2006.
Let’s hope this keeps up!