According to the latest report released today from the National Association of REALTORS(R), existing home sales in July rose 7.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.24 million units up from a level of 4.89 million units in June. Home sales data for July 2009 represents a 5.0 percent increase over home sales in July 2008 when home sales were on a 4.99 million unit pace.
The home sales data we are seeing of late continues to be very encouraging and supports the idea that perhaps we have seen the bottom of the market. The existing home sales for July has reached some great milestones from a home sales data standpoint including:
- Four consecutive months of a rise in home sales. The last time we saw home sales rise four months in a row was June 2004
- July’s home sales increase of 5.0 percent over a year ago marks the first time home sales were than a year earlier since November 2005
- July’s homes sales gain of 7.2 percent over June is the largest one month existing home sales gain since NAR began the existing home sales report back in 1999
Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS(R) said “the housing market has decisively turned for the better. A combination of first-time buyers taking advantage of the housing stimulus tax credit and greatly improved affordability conditions are contributing to higher sales. Because price-to-income ratios have fallen below historical trends, there are more all-cash offers. In some recovering markets like San Diego, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Orland, the demand for foreclosed and lower priced homes has spiked, and a lack of inventory is becoming a common complaint.”
Some other home sales data and home statistics from the report worth noting were:
- Total housing inventory at the end of July rose 7.3 percent to 4.09 million existing homes available for sale however, due to the 7.2 percent increase in home sales for the month, the overall supply of existing homes for sale remains the same as it was in June at 9.4 months supply.
- The national median existing home price for all housing types was $178,400 in July which is 15.1 percent lower than July 2008.
- Single family home sales increased 6.5 percent from June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.61 million homes in July. This is a 5.0 percent increase from a year ago
- Existing condominium and co-op sales jumped 12.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 630,000 units in July from 560,000 in June and are 5.9 percent above the level a year ago.
Lets hope the home sales data continues to be positive and continue to support the possibility that we have seen the bottom of the market. Obviously there are many things out there that could negatively impact the housing market including the record foreclosure rate, record rate of mortgage delinquencies, unemployment as well as the economy in general. Some are calling the current positive home statistics a “false housing bubble”…time will tell, let’s hope not though.