September 2022
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National Home Sales Decline, but Well-Priced Homes Selling Fast
Fizkes / Adobestock

For the fifth consecutive month, existing-home sales declined. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), three out of the four major sales regions in the country reported month-over-month sales declines in June, while all four sales regions saw year-over-year decreases. Inventory levels, however, increased across the country. Housing inventory is 2.4% higher than it was in June 2021. 

Well-Priced Homes Selling Quickly

Though the increase in inventory meant more homes were available, homes were still selling at a quick pace in June, setting a record not seen by NAR since tracking began in May 2011. The average property remained available for sale for just 14 days, down from 16 days a month ago and 17 days a year ago. Of all the homes sold in June, 88% were available for less than 30 days. According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR, “The record-low pace of days on market implies a fuzzier picture on home prices. Homes priced right are selling very quickly, but homes priced too high are deterring prospective buyers.”

Housing Affordability Down

With mortgage rates and home prices having risen sharply in the past few months, stated Yun, “falling housing affordability continues to take a toll on potential homebuyers.” In June, the median existing-home price for all housing types rose by 13.4% year over year, with gains reported in every sales region. For the past 124 consecutive months, prices have increased year over year, the longest running streak on NAR’s record books.

Who’s Buying?

First-time buyers accounted for 30% of all transactions in June, up from 27% a month ago but down from 31% a year ago. According to the NAR “2021 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers,” the annual share of first-time buyers was 34%. All-cash sales represented 25% of June’s transactions, unchanged from a month ago but up from 23% a year ago. Individual investors and second-home buyers—two groups that account for many cash sales—were responsible for 16% of all transactions, also unchanged from May but up from 14% in June 2021.

Regional Breakdown

Northeast: Existing-home sales annual rate of 670,000; unchanged from May 2022 but a decrease of 11.8% from June 2021. The median home sales price of $453,300 increased 10.1% from June 2021.

Midwest: Existing-home sales annual rate of 1.23 million; a decrease of 1.6% from May 2022 and 9.6% from June 2021. The median home sales price of $306,900 increased 10.2% from June 2021.

South: Existing-home sales annual rate of 2.26 million; a decrease of 6.2% from May 2022 and 14.1% from June 2021. The median home sales price of $374,900 increased 16.8% from June 2021.

West: Existing-home sales annual rate of 960,000; a decrease of 11.1% from May 2022 and 21.3% from June 2021. The median home sales price of $624,000 increased 9.6% from June 2021.

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