Home/Mortgages/Home Sales Fall for the First Time in Six Months

August 21, 2012 (Jeff Alan)

Monthly sales of existing homes fell for the first time in six months from June to July according to RE/MAX’s National Housing Report (NHR) while year-over-year home prices continued to improve but declined slightly from June.

Closed transactions of home purchases fell 9.4 percent from June to July but were still 10.3 percent higher than in July of 2011, the 13th consecutive month home sales have increased year-over-year.

Forty-four out of the 53 metro areas in the report posted year-over-year increases in closed transactions, up from 40 metro areas in June. Providence, RI (+38.1%), Albuquerque, NM (+29.6%), Chicago, IL (+29.5%), Boston, MA (+25.7%), Nashville, TN (+25.4%), and Milwaukee, WI (+25.1%) recorded the highest year-over-year gains in closed transactions in July.

The median sales price of the homes sold in July was 0.6 percent lower than in the previous month of June, falling from $170,067 to $169,000. The median sales price was still 3.7 percent higher than the median price in July of 2011. It was the sixth consecutive month that home prices have increased year-over-year following 18 months of declines.

Forty-two of the 53 metro areas posted higher sales prices in July than they did a year earlier, down from 44 metro areas the previous month. The areas that posted the largest price gains during the month were Phoenix, AZ (+33.1%), Boise, ID (+22.1%), San Francisco, CA (+20.6%), Little Rock, AR (+14.5%), Detroit, MI (+14.1%), and Las Vegas, NV (+13.2%).

Housing supplies continued to dwindle with the average monthly inventory of homes for sale declining by 5.4 percent from June and 26.8 percent from July 2011. It was the 25th consecutive month that the supply of homes for sale has declined.

Despite the declining inventory, the drop in home sales pushed the average month’s supply of inventory up for a second consecutive month, rising from a 5.0 months supply of homes in June to a 5.3 months supply in July but still down from a 7.2 months supply in July of last year.

Homes did sell faster in July, falling from an average of 84 days in June to 82 days in July.

Tags: home sales, home prices, seasonal trends, closed transactions, median sales price