Existing Home Sales beat expectations by the most in 11 months at 4.89 million annualized. This headline print is being greeted with exuberance as NAR declares the sale decline is over. However, this is the 7th month in a row of year-over-year declines and the gains are anything but broad-based with the Midwest and South being the biggest driver as the West stagnates. The percent share of first-time buyers continued to underperform, representing less than one- third of all buyers at 27% in May, down from 29% in April (hovering near record lows). Not exactly the organic, non-flip-dat-house wealth building transmission mechanism the Fed is hoping to build the US 'recovery' on.
But this is the 7th month in a row of YoY declines...
As NAR notes,
“Many potential buyers were left on the sidelines beginning last summer as affordability declined amidst rising home prices and interest rates,” he said.
“The temporary pause in rising interest rates and more homes for sale is good news – especially for first-time home buyers – who likely have a better chance in upcoming months to make a competitive offer that’s in return accepted by the seller.”