Real estate agents and brokers closed 9.8 percent more existing-home sale transactions in June than the same month last year, according to a report by the National Association of Realtors, while falling 5.1 percent from the June 2010 rate.
Sales of existing single-family houses, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.37 million units last month — a 9.8 percent increase over the 4.89 million-unit pace in June 2009, the report said.
In a rise the association largely attributed to the federal homebuyer tax credits, existing-home sales also jumped 19.2 percent year-over-year in May. The tax credit deadline to have a home under contract was April 30, while the original deadline to close a deal was June 30. Congress extended the closing deadline to Sept. 30.
NAR bases its existing-home sales figures on transactions closed and attributed the month-to-month decline in sales to closing delays for transactions awaiting lender approval.
"June home sales still reflect a tax credit impact with some sales not closed due to delays, which will show up in the next two months," said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, in a statement.
"Broadly speaking, sales closed after the homebuyer tax credit will be significantly lower compared to the credit-induced spring surge. Only when jobs are created at a sufficient pace will home sales return to sustainable healthy levels."
The national median price for resale homes was $183,700 in June, a 1 percent year-over-year increase. Transactions involving distressed properties rose slightly last month, to 32 percent from 31 percent in both May of this year and June 2009.
A NAR practitioner survey found that first-time homebuyers made up 43 percent of home sales in June, compared with 46 percent in May. Investors accounted for a slightly smaller share of sales in June than in May, 13 percent vs. 14 percent. Repeat buyers made up the rest. Cash buyers’ share of sales also fell slightly month-to-month, to 24 percent from 25 percent.
Raw unsold inventory of existing homes rose 2.5 percent month-to-month at the end of June, to 3.99 million units. That represents an 8.9-month supply at the current sales rate, up from an 8.3-month supply in May, the report said. Inventory is up 4.7 percent from June 2009 when it was 3.81 million units. That represented a 9.4-month supply at the time due to sales pace.
"The supply of homes on the market is higher than we’d like to see. But home prices are still holding their ground because prices had already overcorrected in many local markets," Yun said.
Regionally, existing-home sales were rosiest in the Northeast: sales jumped 7.9 percent month to month and 17.1 percent year-over-year to an annual level of 960,000. Median price in the region fell 1.2 percent year-over-year to $244,300.
Every other region saw month-to-month drops and year-over-year increases in sales. Sales in the Midwest fell 7.5 percent month-to-month and rose 11.8 percent year-over-year, to an annual level of 1.23 million. Median price remained essentially flat from June 2009 at $155,900.
In the South, existing-home sales fell 6.5 percent month-to-month and increased 11 percent year-over-year to an annual level of 2.01 million. Median price, $163,600, was the same as in June 2009.
Sales figures were weakest in the West. Sales fell 9.3 percent month-to-month and rose only 0.9 percent from a year ago, to an annual pace of 1.17 million. Median price rose 1.5 percent year-over-year to $221,800.
Existing-homes sales in California dropped 4.2 percent year-over-year in June, to a seasonally adjusted rate of 492,800 units, according to a separate report from the California Association of Realtors. Sales fell 11.1 percent month-to-month.
"Buyers who scrambled to close escrow in May to take advantage of federal and state tax credits before they expired impacted the number of homes sold last month," said Steve Goddard, CAR’s president, in a statement.
"Although we expect sales to be lower in the second half of the year because of the absence of the government stimulus, they should remain above the long-run average and be significantly higher than the trough in 2007, when sales bottomed out."
The CAR reports is based on information gathered from more than 90 Realtor associations statewide.
The median price for existing homes in the state rose 13.6 percent year-over-year to $311,950.
"As we anticipated, home prices have continued to post modest gains, due in large part to the lean inventory of homes for sale in many regions of the state," said Leslie Appleton-Young, CAR’s vice president and chief economist, in a statement.
Unsold inventory of existing single-family detached homes in the state is at 4.8 months, up from 4.2 months in June 2009. A single-family home sold in an average of 43.3 days in June, compared to a revised 44.3 days at the same time last year.