Previously inhabited U.S. home sales rose for the second straight month in July, albeit modestly from a year earlier, suggesting that the red-hot housing market may cool somewhat, a trend that occurred in Massachusetts, where sales were down. was even more pronounced.
Existing home sales rose 2% last month from June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.99 million units, the National Association of Realtors said on Monday. According to FactSet, this is more than the 5.82 million economists expected.
Sales rose by only 1.5% compared to July last year. By comparison, June sales rose about 23% year over year, when many states were still in a pandemic.
“Sales are still above pre-pandemic conditions, but appear to be settling down,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the NAR.
In Massachusetts, the slowdown was more pronounced, as single-family home sales declined more than 7% from July 2020 and about 1.5% from 2019, according to Warren Group data last week.
“The chickens may finally have come home to sleep for homebuyers in Massachusetts,” said Tim Warren, CEO of Warren Group. “By the beginning of the third quarter of 2020, it was clear that with the wave of sales coupled with the shrinking inventory of single-family homes across the state … it was only a matter of time before we saw sales begin to slide year on year . “
The average U.S. home price rose 17.8% year over year to $ 359,900, near the all-time high it hit in June, NAR said. This annual increase was more modest than the 20-25% year-over-year increase earlier this year.
“Home price growth is clearly slowing,” said Yun.
The 6,327 single-family home sales in Massachusetts last month had an average selling price of $ 540,000 – a new record high for July and the fourth straight month with an average selling price of over $ 500,000, the real estate analysts said.
Nationally, house sales rose above $ 500,000 last month while sales fell below it, which helped to skew the average price upward.
Would-be home buyers who have been trying to navigate the most competitive market for more than a decade may have had more choices to consider in late July when the inventory of unsold homes stood at 1.32 million. That is 7.3% more than in June, but still 12% less than in July last year.
With so few homes for sale, anyone putting a home on the market has become routine to receive multiple offers in excess of the asking price, and many sell out in a matter of days. In July, houses typically stayed on the market for 17 days before they were bought. This is unchanged from June, but compared to 22 days in July 2020.
“I expect we will have more inventory in the coming months,” said Yun.