Existing Home sales increased in July (versus both prior month and YoY) to a SAAR of 5.42M.
Housing inventory still remains tight, as the market has only 4.2 months of inventory currently, versus 6 months in a balanced market. The tight inventory favors sellers over buyers and contributes to the trend of increased home prices.
July’s average home price increased to $280,800, the 89th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.
As for inventory, the market’s 4.2-month supply of housing inventory is well below the 6-month standard for a healthy housing market. In July 2018, the market averaged a 4.3-month supply.
NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun commented on the housing shortage in the middle and lower end of the market:
“ Clearly, the inventory of moderately-priced homes is inadequate and more home building is needed. Some new apartments could be converted into condominiums thereby helping with the supply, especially in light of new federal rules permitting a wider use of Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgages to buy condo properties.”
Properties remained on the market for 29 days July, up by 2 days year-over-year, and 51% of existing home transactions in July were sold within one month of initial listing.
First-time buyers purchased 32% of existing homes in July, which remains constant year-over-year.