The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that June saw the 5th consecutive monthly decline in Existing Home Sales today.  The annual pace of sales came in at 5.12 million, well short of the consensus (5.38m) and 5.4% lower than May’s 5.41m reading.  In the grand scheme of things, sales were already back in line with pre-pandemic levels over the last 2 months.  Today’s release leaves them near the lower end of the range seen from 2015-2019, but sharply lower from the post-covid peaks around 6.5m. One major gripe about home sales (and one major explanation for an epic surge in home values) over the past two years is the broad notion of “inventory.”  In other words, there weren’t enough homes on the market to match the level of demand.   Even now, inventory levels remain historically low.  That was a problem that was only getting worst until the first part of 2021 when rates began to move noticeably higher from all-time lows.  Since then, inventory was still shrinking in year over year terms, but by smaller and smaller amounts.  Today’s report is significant because it’s the first time since mid 2019 that inventory has increased year-over-year. The following charts from Redfin’s market data center show other ways to visualize the same phenomenon.  The first is the outright level of active listings in markets it covers.  Notice the black line (2022) overtaking the orange line (2021), but still very low compared to the 2019 and 2020
Source: Mortgage News Daily