Homes are still selling in record time, but affordability and low inventories are driving sales lower. The National Association of Realtor® (NAR) says previously owned single-family homes, condominiums, townhouses, and cooperative apartment sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.81 million units, a 5.9 percent decline from 5.12 million in June. It was the sixth consecutive month that existing home sales moved lower and the second month in which the decline was greater than 5.0 percent. Sales trailed the 6.03-million-unit annual rate a year earlier by 20.2 percent. July’s results were about as expected. Both Econoday and Trading Economics had forecast the annual rate of sales at 4.85 to 4.89 million units. Single-family home sales decreased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.31 million, down 5.5 percent from 4.56 million in June and a decline of 19.0 percent from one year earlier. Existing condo and co-op sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 500,000 units, retreating by 9.1 percent and 29.6 percent from the two earlier periods. “The ongoing sales decline reflects the impact of the mortgage rate peak of 6 percent in early June,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Home sales may soon stabilize since mortgage rates have fallen to near 5 percent, thereby giving an additional boost of purchasing power to home buyers.” (On Thursday, Freddie Mac said its Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed the 30-year fixed rate at 5.13 percent.)
Source: Mortgage News Daily