After a lackluster July, existing-home sales are forecast to reach an annual rate of about 5.53 million in August – an increase of 2.5% compared with July and an increase of 4.1% compared with August 2015, according to the Ten-X Residential Real Estate Nowcast (formerly the Auction.com Nowcast) report.
“July existing-home sales were disappointing – down on both a month-to-month and year-over-year basis,” said Rick Sharga, executive vice president of Ten-X, in a release. “At least part of the drop can be attributed to continuing low inventory and rising home prices, which may be causing affordability issues in some markets. But there are also indications that activity from international investors may be slowing down, which could have a negative impact on sales going forward.”
Existing-home sales in July were at an annual rate of about 5.39 million, a decrease of 3.2% compared with June and a decrease of 1.6% compared with July 2015, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
In addition to ongoing inventory and affordability constraints, increasing global economic concerns and uncertainty regarding the U.S. presidential election are factors that may have reduced July’s existing-home sales, Ten-X said in its report.
Ten-X is forecasting that the average sales price for an existing home in August was about $248,256, an increase of 1.7% compared with July and an increase of 8.6% compared with August 2015.
According to NAR, the average sales price for an existing home in July was about $244,100, an increase of 5.3% compared with July 2015.
“Though sales figures from July seem less encouraging than in recent months, housing continues to float in a healthy range and the high overall sales level signals that the U.S. housing market remains on solid footing,” said Peter Muoio, chief economist for Ten-X.
He noted that headline employment figures have regained their stride in the past two months, unemployment remains low, wage growth continues to progress, and low interest rates are opportunistic for home buyers.
“It’s far too soon to say whether last month’s dip in sales activity is merely an anomaly, a symptom on month-to-month volatility or perhaps a sign that the market is beginning to cool off,” Muoio added.