Home sales — new and existing — remain strong
June 26, 2013
Sales of new and existing homes are at their highest in five years and more than four years, respectively, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Association of Realtors.
Sales of new single-family houses in May were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 476,000 — 2.1% higher than April and 29% higher than May 2012, according to initial Census Bureau estimates. Sales were down month to month in the South, but they were up slightly in the West and soared 40.7% and 20.7% in the Midwest and Northeast, respectively.
The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of May was 161,000, representing a supply of 4.1 months at the current sales rate. Although this is very slightly above the April supply it’s close to the nine-year low of 3.9 months recorded in January.
Meanwhile, sales of new homes are hardly coming at the expense of existing ones. Total existing-home sales rose 4.2% in May from April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.18 million, according to NAR. Year over year, sales of existing homes were up 12.9%. NAR’s figures reflect completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops.
“The housing numbers are overwhelmingly positive,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “However, the number of available homes is unlikely to grow, despite a nice gain in May, unless new home construction ramps up quickly by an additional 50%. Yun says that that the growth in home prices is too fast and that only additional supply can moderate it. The national median price has risen year over year for 15 straight months.
Existing-home sales are at the highest level since November 2009 when the market jumped to 5.44 million as buyers took advantage of tax stimulus. Total housing inventory at the end of May rose 3.3% to 2.22 million existing homes available for sale, representing a 5.1-month supply at the current sales pace.
Click the link below to print a print-friendly page of the this analysis.Print Page
Use our chart creator to generate charts using the data that was used in this analysis.TruckGauge Chart Creator
This functionality is only available to Premium Members. Please upgrade your account to gain access to the data used in this analysis.Upgrade to a Premium Member