Today, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) release its existing home sales report for May 2012. It is clear that inventory is dwindling in many markets.
Here is an overview of the report:
- Even with low inventory, May 2012 sales maintained a strong lead over year-ago levels
- Home prices are on a sustained uptrend in all regions
- Total existing-home sales declined 1.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.55 million in May from 4.62 million in April, but are 9.6 percent above the 4.15 million-unit pace in May 2011.
- Total housing inventory at the end of May slipped 0.4 percent to 2.49 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 6.6-month supply at the current sales pace;
- There was a 6.5-month supply in April. Listed inventory is 20.4 percent below a year ago when there was a 9.1-month supply.
- Unsold inventory has trended down from a record 4.04 million in July 2007; supplies reached a cyclical peak of 12.1 months in July 2010.
- The national median existing-home price for all housing types rose 7.9 percent to $182,600 in May from a year ago, the third consecutive month of year over year price gains.
- Distressed homes – foreclosures and short sales sold at deep discounts – accounted for 25 percent of May sales (15 percent were foreclosures and 10 percent were short sales), down from 28 percent in April and 31 percent in May 2011.
In the South, existing-home sales slipped 0.6 percent to an annual level of 1.78 million in May but are 9.2 percent higher May 2011. The median price in the South was $159,700, up 7.8 percent from a year ago.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said inventory shortages in certain areas have been building all year. “The slight pullback in monthly home sales is more likely due to supply constraints rather than softening demand. The normal seasonal upturn in inventory did not occur this spring,” he said. “Even with the monthly decline, home sales have moved markedly higher with 11 consecutive months of gains over the same month a year earlier.”
There are broad-based shortages of inventory in the lower price ranges in much of the country except the Northeast, and in the West supply is extremely tight in all price ranges except for the upper end. “Realtors® in Western states have been calling for an expedited process to get additional foreclosed properties onto the market because they have more buyers than available property,”
Yun added that widespread inventory shortages also are found in much of Florida.
Click HERE to read the full NAR report!
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