It’s the fourth month in a row that sales of already built homes have fallen.
The midwest region was the exception, with 1.6% more sales in May.
Prices keep rising: May’s median sale price of $350,000 is 23.6% higher than May 2020.
The inventory of unsold homes grew in May, but there are still far fewer homes for sale compared to May 2020.
High prices are “squeezing some first-time buyers out of the market” contributed to lower sales in May but was not the main cause, said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, in a press release. “Lack of inventory continues to be the overwhelming factor,” he said.
The market for single-family homes is cooling a bit, according to the NAR report and other housing data. While more than half of homes sold above asking price in May, according to real estate broker Redfin, indications of future home sales—including pending sales, mortgage applications and scheduled home tours—have fallen recently, the broker’s lead economist, Taylor Marr, told Forbes last week. Applications for mortgages were 17% lower in early June compared to the same time last year, according to the Journal’s reporting of data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. In May, just 35% of people told Fannie Mae it was “good time to buy a home,” the lowest share since 2010, according to the Journal.
Signs that the market for houses might slow down hasn’t stopped large investors from buying a bunch of them. The investment firm Blackstone told the Wall Street Journal Tuesday that it is buying corporate landlord Home Partners of America, which has more than 17,000 homes, for $6 billion. The company is the latest large investor to buy companies that rent single-family homes, the Journal reported, following Brookfield Asset Management, JP Morgan’s asset management division and Rockpoint Group.