Sales of Previously Owned U.S. Homes Fell in June

Laura Kusisto and Sarah Chaney reported yesterday at The Wall Street Journal Online that, “Sales of previously owned U.S. homes fell in June and prices jumped as strong demand overwhelmed a pinched supply of available homes.”Existing home sales fell 1.8% in June from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.52 million, the National Association of Realtors said Monday.

“The median sales price in June hit a record high of $263,800, up 6.5% from a year earlier. Adjusted for inflation, prices remained about 9% below the 2006 peak.”

The Journal writers indicated that, “Existing home sale have been bumpy throughout the critical spring selling season. Sales rose modestly in May but declined in April, according to NAR.

First-time buyers are looking to make purchases, according to economists and recent housing-market data, but are finding few affordably priced homes. Owners, meanwhile, have been more inclined to stay put and renovate rather than brave bidding wars and prices that are significantly higher than what they paid a few years ago.

“‘The musical chairs phenomenon of people not wanting to actually list their own home because they don’t want to be buyers again means that they have to make their own homes work,’ said Svenja Gudell, chief economist at home listings site Zillow.”

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