Existing-Home Sales Fall in June, Still 15% Higher than 2012 Levels

Existing-home sales may have taken a slight tumble in June, but they are still well above year-ago levels for the past two years, reports the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Total existing-home sales dipped 1.2% in June compared to the previous month, but are 15.2% higher than the 4.41 million-unit level recorded a year ago in June 2012. 

Existing-homes are completed transactions that include single-family homes, town homes, condominiums and co-ops. 

Rising mortgage rates will undoubtedly continue to play a role in housing affordability nationwide.

“Affordability conditions remain favorable in most of the country, and we’re still dealing with a large pent-up demand,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR. “However, higher mortgage interest rates will bite into high-cost regions of California, Hawaii and the New York City metro area market.”

The national average commitment rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.07% in June from 3.54% in May—the highest since October 2011, when it was also 4.07%.

The median existing-home price also rose nationally for all housing types to $214,200 in June, up 13.5% from June 2012. This gain marks 16 consecutive year-over-year increased, according to NAR, which last occurred from February 2005 to May 2006.

Rising home values have improved the positions of homeowners that were previously hurt by the market downturn, with 53% of homeowners surveyed by NAR in June saying they plan to buy another home, according to NAR President Gary Thomas.

While existing-home sales have declined slightly in various regions such as the Northeast, South and West, collectively, these sales are up double-digits from 2012 levels. 

Year-over-year, existing-home sales in these regions were up 16.7% for the Northeast, 16% for the South and up 11% in the West, respectively.

The Midwest remained unchanged in June, but showed similar signs of growth, reporting existing-home sales that are 17.5% higher for the month than what they were last year. 

Written by Jason Oliva

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