Just a day after it was reported that sales of new homes had reached a nine-year high in July, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports that sales of existing homes fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million in July – a 3.2% decrease compared with 5.57 million in June.
The decrease came after four consecutive month-over-month increases.
In a statement, Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR, says existing-home sales continue to be severely hampered by tighter-than-normal inventory, which, in turn, is creating affordability issues.
“Realtors are reporting diminished buyer traffic because of the scarce number of affordable homes on the market, and the lack of supply is stifling the efforts of many prospective buyers attempting to purchase while mortgage rates hover at historical lows,” Yun says.
All regions saw existing-home sales decrease in July compared with June, with the exception of the West, where they rose 2.5%. Existing-home sales decreased 13.2% in the Northeast, fell 5.2% in the Midwest and declined 1.8% in the South.
Sales of existing single-family homes decreased 2.0% nationwide, while sales of existing condominiums and co-ops dropped 12.3%.
The median existing single-family home price was $246,000 in July – an increase of 5.4% compared with July 2015.
The median existing condo price was $228,400, a 4.1% increase compared with one year earlier.