May 2016 Existing Home Sales Most Since February 2007

May 2016 existing home sales were up 4.5 percent from a year ago and up 1.8 percent sequentially from April 2016 to 5.53 million units on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). This was the most sales on a SAAR seen since February 2007. Median price rose 4.7 percent from a year ago to $228,900 – an all-time record.

The following table shows the non-seasonally adjusted sales year-to-date for single family, townhouse condos and total existing home sales.

6-24-16 table

The first graph shows monthly sales (not-seasonally adjusted) for each month in 2015 and 2016. The second shows the same time periods for median prices. The number of sales and median prices were more for every month in 2016 when compared to 2015.

6-24-16 graph1

6-24-16 graph2

Other details in NAR’s May home sales news release included:

  • The median home price in May 2016 was the 51st consecutive month that values rose on a year-over-year basis
  • 1st time homebuyers made up 30 percent of all May 2016 transactions, down from 32 percent in April and just three-fourths of the prior 40 percent normal market share seen prior to the housing bubble
  • Properties closing in May were typically on the market just 32 days – the shortest ever recorded by NAR — down from 40 days a year ago
  • One-half (49 percent) of all May home sales were on the market less than one month. Short sales averaged 103 days, foreclosures 51 days and non-distressed properties 30 days
  • Distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) made up just 6 percent of all home sales in May, off from 10 percent a year ago. Foreclosures made up just 5 percent of all sales and short sales just 1 out of 100 (1.0 percent). The typical foreclosure was discounted 12 percent and the short sale 11 percent versus non-distressed properties
  • Investors made up 13 percent of all closings and on average paid all-cash 63 percent of the time
  • All cash transactions were seen in one-out-of-every five May home sales (22 percent), off from 14 percent a year ago

To read the entire NAR release plus access the underlying data click

Rising rents and extremely low interest rates continue to drive demand for homeownership.


Leave a Reply