May Existing Home Sales Performance Continues the Run — Median Prices Up 15.4 Percent Year-Over-Year and Sales Up 12.9 Percent

The housing recovery continues in robust terms with May 2013 sales, now at a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) of 5.18 million, up 12.9 percent year-over-year and up 4.2 percent sequentially from April 2013, according the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). Sales numbers are the greatest since November 2009, when consumers flocked to the market to take advantage of the $8,000 homebuyer tax credit.

Those that read my blog know that I prefer to utilize a 12-month moving average, alleviating noise from abnormal months and making trends more clear and visible. Ditto my axiom that, “Where ever the number of sales goes, likewise do prices in the following 12 to 24 months. (See the blog ) On a 12-moving average basis (SAAR), home sales are up 10.4 percent from May 2012, and now are at the highest level since January 2008. Median price, on a 12-month moving average basis, is up 10.2 percent and was $183,650 in May 2013. Median prices have now recovered to the level last seen in May 2009.

Other data in the NAR release included:


  • While the number of homes available for sale increased 3.3 percent from April to May 2013, now at 2.22 million listings, rising sales saw the number of months inventory decline to 5.1 months. A six-month inventory of homes is considered normal.
  • The current number of listings is down 10.1 percent from a year ago
  • All cash sales made up 33 percent of all closings, compared to 32 percent in April and 28 percent in May 2012
  • Distressed properties made up 18 percent of May’s closings, the lowest percentage since NAR commenced collecting and reporting these data in October 2008. Seven percent were short sales and 11 percent foreclosures. One-year ago, distressed properties totaled one out of every four sales. May foreclosures sold at an average 15 percent discount to non-distressed home prices, with short sales at an average 12 percent discount.
  • Homebuyer traffic is up 29 percent in the past 12-months
  • First-time home buyers made up 28 percent of all sales
  • Investors bought 18 percent of all May sales
  • Almost one-half (45 percent) of the homes sold in May were on the market less than one month

To read the entire NAR release and examine the underlying data, click:



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