Existing-Home Sales Keep Climbing…Can It Last?

This morning we reported that existing-home sales increased in June (1.1 percent) for the fourth straight month and remained at their highest annual sales pace since February 2007 (5.79 million).

Almost every nook and cranny inside the data shows that it was a very solid month for the resale market. Sales to first-time buyers, although still underwhelming, rose to their highest share (33 percent) since July 2012. Meanwhile, just as noteworthy, foreclosure sales and those to individual investors dropped to lows not seen since the depth of the housing crisis.

Can these recent good times last? During this morning’s press conference, Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, was hopeful, but also somewhat skeptical. According to Yun, pending sales were down in May, inventory remains stubbornly low (down 5.8 percent compared to June 2015) and home prices continue to outpace incomes. These potential barriers are clashing head on with the positives: record high stock prices, near-record low mortgage rates and solid and steady job gains.

The housing market isn’t perfect right now (see: inventory, affordability), but there’s one thing most can agree on: the first half of 2016 was strong, and home sales are still forecast to finish the year at their highest annual pace since 2006.

Take a look at the charts below recapping the resale market in June: