The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing homes came in well below analysts’ estimates, falling 1.2 percent last month from a downwardly revised seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.14 million in May to 5.08 million in June.
The median home price continued to rise, however, up from $208,000 in May to $214,200 last month, a full 13.5 percent higher than a year ago and the 16th straight month of year-over-year price gains.
Unlike the big miss in new home construction reported last week, rising interest rates have yet to make a big impact on home sales, though it’s important to remember that existing home sales are based on contract closings and many June closings came prior to the surge in mortgage rates that began in May. More on the impact of rising rates will be learned on Wednesday when new home sales are reported, this data being based on contract signings.
The inventory of unsold homes continues to rise from low levels, up 1.9 percent last month to 2.19 million units which, combined with the lower sales pace, caused the months of supply metric to rise from 5.0 to 5.2. With the return of traditional buyers over the summer, sales of distressed homes fell from an 18 percent share in May to 15 percent in June, the lowest level since the realtors’ group began tracking this data in late-2008 and a contributing factor behind home price gains.