July Existing-Home Sales Slip

Existing-home sales declined in July from an upwardly revised June pace but are notably higher than a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, fell 3.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.67 million in July from 4.84 million in June, but are 21 percent above the 3.86 million unit pace in July 2010, which was a cyclical low immediately following the expiration of the home buyer tax credit.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said there is a tug and pull on the market.

“Affordability conditions this year have been the most favorable on record dating back to 1970, but many buyers are being held back because banks are offering financing to only the most highly qualified borrowers, ignoring a large share of otherwise creditworthy buyers,” he said. “Those potential buyers represent the difference between an uneven recovery and a much more robust housing market that could stimulate additional economic activity and create jobs.”

July 2011 Existing Home Sales


July 2011 June 2011 1 Mo Diff 1 Yr Diff
National 4.67M 4.84M -3.5% +21%
Northeast 750K 730K -2.7% +19%
Midwest 1.05M 1.04M +1% +31.3%
South 1.84M 1.87M -1.6% +19.5%
West 1.04M 1.19M -12.6% +16.9%


All Housing Types:
1. July Inventory: 3.65M = 1.7% from June
2. Months Supply: 9.4 months, up from 9.2 months in June

June Practitioner Survey:
1. Distressed properties made up 29% of all sales (down from 30% in June)
2. First-time buyers purchased 32% of homes (up from 31% in June)
3. Investors accounted for 18% of all sales (down from 19% in June)
4. All-cash deals comprised 29% of all sales (unchanged from June)

Mortgage Rates
1. July 2011 = 4.55%
2. June 2011 = 4.51%
3. May 2011 = 4.64%
3. July 2010 = 4.56%
(National average commitment rate from Freddie Mac)

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Updated 8/22/11