As the supply of existing homes for sale continues to lag behind demand, consumers and industry professionals alike are closely watching the latest statistics. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released their Existing Home Sales report for July, and no no one’s surprise, it showed a very tight housing market. Since existing home sales are the single best measure of the real estate market’s health, it is vitally important for Realtors and mortgage industry professionals to dutifully monitor these reports. In today’s post, we’ll review the NAR’s July findings.

Note: Existing home sales are considered completed transactions of the sale of single family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops.

Highlighted below are some of the NAR’s key findings from the Existing Home Sales report:

  • On average, homes listed for sale went under contract in less than 30 days for the fourth straight month. Fifty-one percent of homes sold in July were on the market for less than a month.
  • The median existing-home price for all housing types in July was $258,300, up 6.2 percent from July 2016 ($243,200). July’s price increase marks the 65th straight month of year-over-year gains.
  • Lack of inventory is still a major issue with only 1.92 million existing homes available for sale, and is now 9.0 percent lower than a year ago (2.11 million) and has fallen year-over-year for 26 consecutive months. Unsold inventory is at a 4.2-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from 4.8 months a year ago.
  • First-time buyers were 33 percent of sales in July, which is up from 32 percent both in June and a year ago.
  • All-cash sales were 19 percent of transactions in July, up from 18 percent in June buy down from 21 percent a year ago.
  • Existing Home Sales come in at seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.44 million in July from a downwardly revised 5.51 million in June, July’s sales pace is still 2.1 percent above a year ago, but is the lowest of 2017.

Overall, the above data is excellent, showing steady appreciation and demand; it appears that only the lack of available inventory is keeping existing home sales from growing at an even faster pace.

Remember to check back often as we continue to update our blog on the latest real estate and mortgage news.