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Economy in Brief

U.S. Existing Home Sales Fall for Fifth Straight Month
by Sandy Batten  July 20, 2022

• Declining affordability continued to depress sales.

• Three of the four major regions posted monthly declines; all posted yearly declines.

• Median sales price rose to another record high.

Existing home sales declined 5.4% m/m (-14.2% y/y) in June to 5.12 million units at an annual rate, their fifth consecutive monthly decline, on top of a 3.4% m/m drop in May. This was the lowest level of sales since June 2020. The Action Economics Forecast Survey had expected June sales to total 5.40 million units. In the first six months of 2022, sales fell 15.9%.

The fall in existing home sales reflected a 9.8% m/m decline in sales of condos and coops to 550,000 units in June, the lowest level since June 2020. Sales of single family homes fell 4.8% m/m, their fifth consecutive monthly decline, to 4.57 million units, again the lowest since June 2020.

Home sales declined in June in three of the four major regions of the country and were unchanged in the fourth. Sales were lower than a year ago in all four regions. The largest monthly decline in June was posted in the West where sales slumped 11.1% m/m (-21.3% y/y). Sales were down 6.2% m/m (-14.1% y/y) in the South. Sales in the Midwest fell 1.6% m/m (-9.6% y/y) in June. Sales were unchanged m/m in the Northeast but were down 11.8% from a year earlier.

The number of existing homes on the market rose 9.6% (NSA) to 1.26 million and was up 2.4% from a year ago. The months' supply of homes on the market rose to 3.0 at the current selling rate, its highest since August 2020, from 2.6 in May. This is the fifth consecutive month that the months' supply has increased. These figures date back to January 1999.

The median price of an existing home increased 1.9% m/m to a record $416,000 last month and was up 13.4% y/y. The price data are not seasonally adjusted.

The data on existing home sales, prices and affordability are compiled by the National Association of Realtors. The data on single-family home sales extend back to February 1968. Total sales and price data and regional sales can be found in Haver's USECON database. Regional price and affordability data and national inventory data are available in the REALTOR database. The expectations figure is from the Action Economics Forecast Survey, reported in the AS1REPNA database.

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