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Existing-Home Sales Slip in June

As inventory remains scarce nationwide, existing-home sales also slipped in June, according to the National Association of Realtors. Sales varied among the four major U.S. regions, with the Northeast experiencing gains, the Midwest holding steady, and the South and West posting decreases. All four regions recorded year-over-year sales declines.

Total existing-home sales—completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops—receded 3.3% from May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.16 million in June. Year-over-year, sales fell 18.9% (down from 5.13 million in June 2022).

Sales of existing homes dipped in June, slipping 3.3% to a pace of 4.16 million, the slowest since January," said Realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale. "As current homeowners continue to sit on the sidelines, buyers have limited new options which is putting a damper on sales. In fact, the number of newly listed homes year to date trails recent years, including 2020, when pandemic-related disruptions largely delayed the homebuying season. The pace of home sales continues to exceed the 4-million sales low reached in January, and while it still lags year ago sales by a considerable amount, 18.9%, the gap will close in the months ahead."

Regional Breakdown

  • Existing-home sales in the Northeast grew 2.0% from May to an annual rate of 510,000 in June, down 21.5% from June 2022. The median price in the Northeast was $475,300, up 4.9% from the prior year.
  • In the Midwest, existing-home sales were unchanged from one month ago at an annual rate of 990,000 in June, slumping 19.5% from one year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $311,800, up 2.1% from June 2022.
  • Existing-home sales in the South faded 5.4% from May to an annual rate of 1.91 million in June, a decrease of 16.2% from the previous year. The median price in the South was $366,600, down 1.2% from June 2022.
  • In the West, existing-home sales declined 5.1% from the previous month to an annual rate of 750,000 in June, down 22.7% from one year ago. The median price in the West was $606,500, down 3.4% from June 2022.

"The first half of the year was a downer for sure with sales lower by 23%," said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. "Fewer Americans were on the move despite the usual life-changing circumstances. The pent-up demand will surely be realized soon, especially if mortgage rates and inventory move favorably."

Total housing inventory registered at the end of June was 1.08 million units, identical to May but down 13.6% from one year ago (1.25 million). Unsold inventory sits at a 3.1-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 3.0 months in May and 2.9 months in June 2022.

"There are simply not enough homes for sale," said Yun. "The market can easily absorb a doubling of inventory."

The median existing-home price for all housing types in June was $410,200, the second-highest price of all time and down 0.9% from the record-high of $413,800 in June 2022. The monthly median price surpassed $400,000 for the third time, joining June 2022 and May 2022 ($408,600). Prices rose in the Northeast and Midwest but waned in the South and West.

"Home sales fell but home prices have held firm in most parts of the country," Yun continued. "The national median home price in June was slightly less than the record high of nearly $414,000 in June of last year. Limited supply is still leading to multiple-offer situations, with one-third of homes getting sold above the list price in the latest month."

Properties typically remained on the market for 18 days in June, identical to May but up from 14 days in June 2022. Some 76% of homes sold in June were on the market for less than a month.

First-time homebuyers were responsible for 27% of sales in June, down from 28% in May and 30% in June 2022. NAR's 2022 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, released in November 2022, found that the annual share of first-time buyers was 26%, the lowest since NAR began tracking the data.

"Mortgage rates in May climbed sharply after mid-month inflation data. Buyers who hustled to lock in rates are likely happy with their decision, as mortgage rates have remained relatively elevated since then," said Hale. "With rates still high, buyers remain cost-conscious, but a competitive market makes this challenging. The median sale price continued to decline, but the size of the drop, 0.9% from the June 2022 peak, was more modest than we’ve seen in the past three months. In fact, the U.S. median existing home sales price of $410,200 was the second-highest price ever recorded, and only the third time in the data’s history above $400,000. Our revised 2023 outlook expects that even though conditions are favorable, home sellers will remain scarce for the rest of the year, which will keep existing home sales roughly at their current pace."

All-cash sales accounted for 26% of transactions in June, up from 25% in both May 2023 and June 2022.

Individual investors or second-home buyers, who make up many cash sales, purchased 18% of homes in June, up from 15% in May and 16% the previous year.

Distressed sales—foreclosures and short sales—represented 2% of sales in June, virtually unchanged from last month and the prior year.

According to Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.96% as of July 13. That's up from 6.81% the previous week and 5.51% one year ago.

Single-family and Condo/Co-op Sales

Single-family home sales decreased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.72 million in June, down 3.4% from 3.85 million in May and 18.8% from the previous year. The median existing single-family home price was $416,000 in June, down 1.2% from June 2022.

"May’s first-ever decline in asking rents will mean some would-be first-time homebuyers continue to rent longer and the monthly cost advantage tips further toward renting," Hale continued. "Already, NAR found that the share of first-time homebuyers dipped to just 27% in June, down from 28% in May and 30% one year ago. With individual investors or second-home buyers stepping up their pace (to 18% in June, from 15% in May), a weaker trend for rents is likely to continue.”

Existing condominium and co-op sales recorded a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 440,000 units in June, down 2.2% from May and 20.0% from one year ago. The median existing condo price was $361,600 in June, up 1.9% from the previous year ($354,800).

To read the full report, including more data, charts, and methodology, click here.

About Author: Demetria Lester

Demetria C. Lester is a reporter for DS News and MReport magazines with more than eight years of writing experience. She has served as content coordinator and copy editor for the Los Angeles Daily News and the Orange County Register, in addition to 11 other Southern California publications. A former editor-in-chief at Northlake College and staff writer at her alma mater, the University of Texas at Arlington, she has covered events such as the Byron Nelson and Pac-12 Conferences, progressing into her freelance work with the Dallas Wings and D Magazine. Currently located in Dallas, Texas, Lester is an avid jazz lover and likes to read. She can be reached at [email protected].

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