On the heels of homebuilder optimism tumbling to 8-month lows in July, existing home sales slumped in June (down 1.8%, more than the 0.9% decline expected) to the second lowest SAAR this year. Existing home sales are now unchanged since September, but we note that average prices are up 6.5% YoY.
Total existing-home sales , decreased 1.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.52 million in June from 5.62 million in May. Despite last month's decline, June's sales pace is 0.7 percent above a year ago, but is the second lowest of 2017 (February, 5.47 million).
Since rates surged, exisitng home sales have gone nowhere (but prices have risen)...
"Closings were down in most of the country last month because interested buyers are being tripped up by supply that remains stuck at a meager level and price growth that's straining their budget," he said.
"The demand for buying a home is as strong as it has been since before the Great Recession. Listings in the affordable price range continue to be scooped up rapidly, but the severe housing shortages inflicting many markets are keeping a large segment of would-be buyers on the sidelines."
For context, this is the weakest summer selling season since 2011... a time when seasonally sales have tended to increase...
First-time buyers were 32 percent of sales in June, which is down from 33 percent both in May and a year ago.
NAR's 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers – released in late 20164 – revealed that the annual share of first-time buyers was 35 percent.
"It's shaping up to be another year of below average sales to first-time buyers despite a healthy economy that continues to create jobs," said Yun.
"Worsening supply and affordability conditions in many markets have unfortunately put a temporary hold on many aspiring buyers' dreams of owning a home this year."