Interest Rate Roundup

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Existing home sales slump in May

The National Association of Realtors reported on existing home sales figures for May today.

* Sales slumped 3.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.81 million from 5 million in April. That was right in line with expectations and it leaves sales at the lowest level since November.

* Single-family sales dropped 3.2%, while condominium and co-op sales fell 8.1%. Sales slumped in most of the country, dropping 2.5% in the Northeast, 5.1% in the South, and 6.4% in the Midwest. They were unchanged in the West on the month.

* The months supply at current sales pace indicator of inventory climbed to 9.3 from 9. That's also the highest reading since November. The raw number of homes for sale slipped 4.4% from a year ago to 3.72 million. The median price of a used home fell 4.6% from a year ago to $166,500 from $174,600. That was up 3.4% on the month, however.

Home sales remain depressed in the U.S. Sales fell to a six-month low, with transaction volume sinking or flat in all regions of the country. Chalk the weakness up to the same factors we've been discussing for some time: A lack of buyer confidence, a continued influx of distressed inventory, tighter credit standards, and a slowing economy. Buyers simply don't have the motivation or ability to snap up homes, and there is no reason to expect that dynamic to change for some time.


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