The National Association of Realtors released This Week in Real Estate that the median sales price reached a new high in May while the median days on the market decreased to a new low. Below are a few highlights from the third week of June that influence our business:
* As Existing Home Sales Rise, Median Home Price Hits New High. Existing-home sales rebounded in May and low inventory levels helped propel the median sales price to a new high while pushing down the median days a home is on the market to a new low, according to the National Association of Realtors. All major regions except for the Midwest saw an increase in sales last month. Total existing-home sales climbed 1.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.62 million in May from a downwardly revised 5.56 million in April. Last month’s sales pace is 2.7 percent above a year ago and is the third highest over the past year. The median existing-home price for all housing types in May was $252,800. This surpasses last June ($247,600) as the new peak median sales price, and is up 5.8 percent from May 2016 ($238,900) and marks the 63rd straight month of year-over-year gains. Total housing inventory at the end of May rose 2.1 percent to 1.96 million existing homes available for sale, but is still 8.4 percent lower than a year ago (2.14 million) and has fallen year-over-year for 24 consecutive months. Unsold inventory is at a 4.2-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from 4.7 months a year ago. Properties typically stayed on the market for 27 days in May, which is down from 29 days in April and 32 days a year ago; this is the shortest timeframe since NAR began tracking in May 2011. Inventory data from realtor.com reveals that the metropolitan statistical areas where listings stayed on the market the shortest amount of time in May were Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA (20 days); San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA (24 days); San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA (25 days) and Salt Lake City, UT (26 days).
* Housing Remains a Bright Spot for the Economy. Freddie Mac released its monthly outlook for June on Friday, which shows that despite some recent bumps, the U.S. housing market remains on track to exceed last year’s best-in-a-decade levels for housing starts and home sales. May marked the 80th consecutive month of job gains. In the first quarter of 2017, the homeownership rate was 63.6 percent – six percentage points lower than its peak in 2004 when it reached its all time-high of 69.2 percent. Strong demand and a short supply of housing in many markets continues to push house prices higher. Expect house price appreciation to be over 5 percent in 2017.
* Mortgage Default Rate Falls to Near Record Low in May. Borrowers are going into default on their first mortgages less often than at nearly point in the last 13 years, a new report from the S&P Dow Jones Indices and Experian showed. The newest S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices, which is a comprehensive measure of changes in consumer credit defaults, showed that the default rate for first mortgages fell to 0.64% in May. That’s down five basis points from April’s level of 0.69%. The default rate in May was also just one basis point above May 2016’s level of 0.63%, which was the lowest that figure had been since July 2004. That means that May 2017’s default rate of 0.64% is the second lowest for any month in nearly 13 years. “The default rate on first mortgage remains at 1%, lower than the pre-crisis period,” said David Blitzer, the managing director and chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.
Have a productive week!