Existing Home Sales Eased in May, Down 6.6% from Year Ago

Total existing-home sales – including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – eased 1.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.67 million units in May from a pace of 6.75 million in April, and were 6.6 percent below the 7.14 million-unit level in May 2005, according to the National Association of Realtors. Although mortgage interest rates remain historically low, the uptrend in interest rates this year is affecting those buyers who are at the margins of affordability, said NAR.

According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage was 6.60 percent in May, up from 6.51 percent in April; the rate was 5.72 percent in May 2005.

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $230,000 in May, up 6.0 percent from May 2005. 

  • Total housing inventory levels rose 5.5 percent at the end of May to 3.60 million existing homes available for sale, a 6.5-month supply at the current sales pace.
  • Existing condominium and cooperative housing sales rose 1.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 852,000 units in May, but were 6.6% below the  pace in May 2005. 
  • The median existing condo price was $229,300 in May, up 1.9% from a year earlier.

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