Existing-Home Sales Drop Slightly in July

house on chart showing decrease in statistics

For the fourth consecutive month, existing-home sales dipped in July to their slowest pace in more than two years, according to newly released data from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).

Existing-home sales are defined by the NAR as completed residential real estate transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops. According to July’s data, total existing-home sales decreased 0.7 percent to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.34 million last month from 5.38 million in June. Factoring in the latest figures, existing-home sales are now 1.5 percent lower than they were a year ago and have fallen on an annual basis for five straight months.

It seems the steadily rising home prices throughout the US has finally begun weighing on buyer demand, according to NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.

“Led by a notable decrease in closings in the Northeast, existing home sales trailed off again last month, sliding to their lowest pace since February 2016 at 5.21 million,” said Yun. “Too many would-be buyers are either being priced out, or are deciding to postpone their search until more homes in their price range come onto the market.”

July Home Prices

The median existing-home price for all housing types in July was $269,600, up 4.5 percent from July 2017 ($258,100). July’s price gain marks the 77th consecutive month of year-over-year increases.

The median existing single-family home price was $272,300 in July, up 4.6 percent from July 2017.

The median existing condo price was $248,100 in July, which is 3.2 percent above a year ago.

Regional Differences

Existing-home sales in the Northeast fell 8.3 percent to an annual rate of 660,000 and are 1.5 percent below a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $309,700, which is 6.8 percent higher than it was in July 2017.

The Midwest saw existing-home sales drop 1.6 percent to an annual rate of 1.25 million in July, and are 0.8 percent lower than a year ago. The median existing-home price in the Midwest was $210,500, up 2.5 percent from a year ago.

The South saw the lowest decrease, with existing-home sales falling 0.4 percent in July to an annual rate of 2.24 million. This figure was 0.4 percent lower than it was a year ago. The median price in the South was  $233,400, up 2.7 percent from July 2017.

The West was the only region of the US that saw an increase in existing-home sales for July. In this region, existing-home sales gained 4.4 percent, putting them at an annual rate of 1.19 million in July. Despite the increase in July, existing-home sales in the West were still 4.0 percent below a year ago. The median price in the West was $392,700, up 5.1 percent from July 2017.

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