NAR President Gary Thomas, broker-owner of Evergreen Realty in Villa Park, Calif., said market conditions today are vastly different than during the housing boom. "The boom period was marked by easy credit and overbuilding, but today we have tight mortgage credit and widespread shortages of homes for sale," he said.
"The issue now is pent-up demand and strong growth in the number of households, with buyer traffic 29 percent above a year ago, coinciding with several years of inadequate housing construction. These conditions are contributing to sustainable price growth," Thomas said.
The median time on market for all homes was 41 days in May, down from 46 days in April, and is 43 percent faster than the 72 days on market in May 2012. Short sales were on the market for a median of 79 days, while foreclosures typically sold in 43 days and non-distressed homes took 39 days.
Forty-five percent of all homes sold in May were on the market for less than a month. The median time on the market is the shortest since monthly tracking began in May 2011; on an annual basis, a separate NAR survey of home buyers and sellers shows the shortest selling time was 4 weeks in both 2004 and 2005.
First-time buyers accounted for 28 percent of purchases in May, compared with 29 percent in April and 34 percent in May 2012.
All-cash sales were at 33 percent of transactions in May, up from 32 percent in April and 28 percent in May 2012. Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 18 percent of homes in May; they were 19 percent in April and 17 percent in May 2012.
Single-family home sales rose 5.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.60 million in May from 4.38 million in April, and are 12.7 percent higher than the 4.08 million-unit pace in May 2012. The median existing single-family home price was $208,700 in May, up 15.8 percent above a year ago, the strongest increase since October 2005 when it jumped 16.9 percent from a year earlier.
Existing condominium and co-op sales slipped 1.7 percent to an annualized rate of 580,000 units in May from 590,000 in April, but are 13.7 percent above the 510,000-unit level a year ago. The median existing condo price was $202,100 in May, which is 11.8 percent above May 2012.
Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast rose 1.6 percent to an annual rate of 650,000 in May and are 8.3 percent above May 2012. The median price in the Northeast was $269,600, up 12.3 percent from a year ago.
Existing-home sales in the Midwest jumped 8.0 percent in May to a pace of 1.21 million, and are 16.3 percent higher than a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $159,800, up 8.2 percent from May 2012.
In the South, existing-home sales rose 4.0 percent to an annual level of 2.09 million in May and are 16.1 percent above May 2012. The median price in the South was $183,300, which is 15.0 percent above a year ago.
Existing-home sales in the West increased 2.5 percent to a pace of 1.23 million in May and are 7.0 percent above a year ago. With the tightest regional supply, the median price in the West was $276,400, up 19.9 percent from May 2012.
The National Association of Realtors®, "The Voice for Real Estate," is America's largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. For additional commentary and consumer information, visit www.houselogic.com and http://retradio.com.
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