Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 2.4% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.15 million. This annual rate is 4.3% lower than the 5.38 million-unit level in July 2013.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says sales momentum is slowly building behind stronger job growth and improving inventory conditions. “The number of houses for sale is higher than a year ago and tamer price increases are giving prospective buyers less hesitation about entering the market,” he said. “More people are buying homes compared to earlier in the year and this trend should continue with interest rates remaining low and apartment rents on the rise.”
Yun does warn that affordability is likely to decline in upcoming years. “Although interest rates have fallen in recent months, median family incomes are still lagging behind price gains, and mortgage rates will inevitably rise with the upcoming changes in monetary policy,” he said.
The existing home sales rate in each of the 4 U.S. regions in July:
- Northeast: 0.64 million from 0.64 million month prior.
- Midwest: 1.22 million from 1.20 million month prior.
- South: 2.12 million from 2.05 million month prior.
- West: 1.17 million from 1.14 million month prior.
Total housing inventory at the end of July increased 3.5% to 2.37 million existing homes available for sale. That represents a 5.5 month supply at the current sales pace. Unsold inventory is 5.8% above a year ago, when there were 2.24 million existing homes available for sale.
The median time on market for all homes was 48 days in July. That is up from 44 days in June. Short sales were on the market for a median of 93 days, while foreclosures typically sold in 58 days, and non-distressed homes took 45 days. 40% of homes sold in June were on the market for less than a month.
The national median existing home price for all housing types was $222,900 up 4.9% from a year ago.
Privately-owned housing starts in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.093 million. This is 15.7% above the revised June estimate of 945k, and is 21.7% above the July 2013 rate of 898k.
Single-family starts increased to an annual rate of 656k from 606k and multi-unit starts increased to 437k from 339k.
S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices showed that National prices increased in May. All 20 cities tracked improved during the month.
The 10-City composite index increased 1.0%, while the broader 20-City composite increased 1.1%. Year over year, the 10-City and 20-City Composites are up 9.4% and 9.3%, respectively.
National house price levels are now roughly equal to their values from August 2004.
Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 2.6% in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million, the National Association of Realtors reports. This annual rate is 0.4% lower than the 5.06 million-unit level in June 2013.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said housing fundamentals are moving in the right direction. “Inventories are at their highest level in over a year and price gains have slowed to much more welcoming levels in many parts of the country. This bodes well for rising home sales in the upcoming months as consumers are provided with more choices,” he said. “On the contrary, new home construction needs to rise by at least 50 percent for a complete return to a balanced market because supply shortages – particularly in the West – are still putting upward pressure on prices.”
Yun also noted that stagnant wage growth is holding back what should be a stronger pace of sales. “Hiring has been a bright spot in the economy this year, adding an average of 230,000 jobs each month,” he said. “However, the lack of wage increases is leaving a large pool of potential homebuyers on the sidelines who otherwise would be taking advantage of low interest rates. Income growth below price appreciation will hurt affordability.”
The existing home sales rate increased in each of the 4 U.S. regions in June:
- Northeast: 0.64 million from 0.62 million month prior.
- Midwest: 1.2 million from 1.13 million month prior.
- South: 2.06 million from 2.05 million month prior.
- West: 1.14 million from 1.11 million month prior.
Total housing inventory at the end of June increased 2.2% to 2.30 million existing homes available for sale. That represents a 5.5 month supply at the current sales pace, unchanged from May. Unsold inventory is 6.5% above a year ago, when there were 2.16 million existing homes available for sale.
The median time on market for all homes was 44 days in June. That is down from 47 days in May. Short sales were on the market for a median of 120 days, while foreclosures typically sold in 54 days, and non-distressed homes took 42 days. 42% of homes sold in June were on the market for less than a month.
The national median existing home price for all housing types was $223,300400, up 4.3% from a year ago.
U.S. house prices increased 0.4% in May on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous month, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) monthly House Price Index (HPI). House prices have increased 5.5% from the same period a year ago.
The FHFA HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages either sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The U.S. index is 6.5% below its April 2007 peak and is roughly the same as the July 2005 index level.
Privately-owned housing starts in June were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 893k million, the U.S. Census Bureau reports. This is 9.3% below the revised May estimate of 985k million, but is 7.5% above the June 2013 rate of 831k.
Single-family starts were decreased in June to an annual rate of 575k from 632k,, and multi-unit starts decreased to 318k from 353k.
A trendy topic this week has been an analysis by OpenSecrets who revealed that for the first time ever, a majority of the members of the U.S. Congress are millionaires.
Vizual Statistix took that data and created an excellent heatmap showing the net worth of every individual currently serving in the House or the Senate.
The median net worth of the whole congress is $1.01 million. The Senate is significantly more wealthy with a median net worth of $2.79 million compared to only $0.90 million in the House.
Republican representatives are far wealthier in the Senate than their Democratic counterparts, but in the House both parties have similar wealth.