Existing-Home Sales Backpedal in May

Existing-home sales fell back in May for the second straight month; sales fell 0.4 percent to seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.43 million in May from a downwardly revised 5.45 million in April.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says a solid economy and job market should be generating a much stronger sales pace than what has been seen so far this year.

“Closings were down in a majority of the country last month and declined on an annual basis in each major region,” he said. “Incredibly low supply continues to be the primary impediment to more sales, but there’s no question the combination of higher prices and mortgage rates are pinching the budgets of prospective buyers, and ultimately keeping some from reaching the market.”

The median existing-home price in May was $264,800, an all-time high, and the 75th straight month of year-over-year price gains. According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage also increased for the seventh straight month to 4.59 percent in May.