Existing-home sales retreated for the fourth consecutive month in May, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Month-over-month sales declined in three out of four major U.S. regions, while year-over-year sales slipped in all four regions.
Total existing-home sales, completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, fell 3.4 percent from April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.41 million in May. Year-over-year, sales receded 8.6 percent (5.92 million in May 2021).
“Home sales have essentially returned to the levels seen in 2019 – prior to the pandemic – after two years of gangbuster performance,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. “Also, the market movements of single-family and condominium sales are nearly equal, possibly implying that the preference towards suburban living over city life that had been present over the past two years is fading with a return to pre-pandemic conditions.”
Total housing inventory registered at the end of May was 1,160,000 units, an increase of 12.6 percent from April and a 4.1 percent decline from the previous year (1.21 million). Unsold inventory sits at a 2.6-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 2.2 months in April and 2.5 months in May 2021.
“Further sales declines should be expected in the upcoming months given housing affordability challenges from the sharp rise in mortgage rates this year,” Yun added. “Nonetheless, homes priced appropriately are selling quickly and inventory levels still need to rise substantially – almost doubling – to cool home price appreciation and provide more options for home buyers.”
The median existing-home price for all housing types in May was $407,600, up 14.8 percent from May 2021 ($355,000), as prices increased in all regions. This marks 123 consecutive months of year-over-year increases, the longest-running streak on record.
Properties typically remained on the market for 16 days in May, down from 17 days in April and 17 days in May 2021. Eighty-eight percent of homes sold in May 2022 were on the market for less than a month.
Realtor.com’s Market Trends Report in May shows that the largest year-over-year median list price growth occurred in Miami (+45.9 percent), Nashville (+32.5 percent), and Orlando (+32.4 percent). Austin reported the highest growth in the share of homes that had their prices reduced compared to last year (+14.7 percentage points), followed by Las Vegas (+12.3 percentage points) and Phoenix (+11.6 percentage points).
Single-family home sales declined to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.80 million in May, down 3.6 percent from 4.98 million in April and down 7.7 percent from one year ago. The median existing single-family home price was $414,200 in May, up 14.6 percent from May 2021.
Existing condominium and co-op sales were recorded at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 610,000 units in May, down 1.6 percent from April and down 15.3 percent from one year ago. The median existing condo price was $355,700 in May, an annual increase of 14.8 percent.
Existing-home sales in the Northeast climbed 1.5 percent in May to an annual rate of 680,000, falling 9.3 percent from May 2021. The median price in the Northeast was $409,700, a 6.7 percent rise from one year ago.
Existing-home sales in the Midwest dropped 5.3 percent from the previous month to an annual rate of 1,240,000 in May, slumping 7.5 percent from May 2021. The median price in the Midwest was $294,500, up 9.5 percent from one year before.
Existing-home sales in the South declined 2.8 percent in May to an annual rate of 2,410,000, down 8.4 percent from the previous year. The median price in the South was $375,000, a 20.6 percent jump from one year ago. For the ninth consecutive month, the South recorded the highest pace of price appreciation in comparison to the other three regions.
Existing-home sales in the West slid 5.3 percent compared to the month before to an annual rate of 1,080,000 in May, down 10.0 percent from this time last year. The median price in the West was $633,800, an increase of 13.3 percent from May 2021.