Here’s Why Existing Home Sales Slipped in July

According to the National Association of Realtors, Existing Home Sales continued to decline in July. Here’s your Cheat Sheet:

Sales: Came in at an annual rate of 4.67 million in July.

Month-over-Month Change: This is 3.5% below the upwardly revised 4.84 million in June 2011.

Year-over-Year Change: This is 21.0% above the 3.86 million pace in July 2010.

Prices: The national median existing-home price of $174,000 in July was down 4.4% from July 2010.

Inventory: Total housing inventory fell 1.7% to 3.65 million existing homes available for sale in July. This represents a supply of 9.4 months at the current sales rate, up from 9.2 months in June.

Noteworthy Stats: First-time buyers purchased 32% of homes in July, up from 31% in June; they were 38% in July 2010. Investors accounted for 18% of purchase activity in July, down from 19% in June; they were 19% percent in June 2010. All-cash transactions accounted for 29% of sales in July, unchanged from June; they were 30% in July 2010. Investors account for the bulk of cash purchases.

Commentary: NAR President Ron Phipps, broker-president of Phipps Realty in Warwick, R.I., said an unacceptably high number of potential home buyers are unable to complete transactions. “For both mortgage credit and home appraisals, there’s been a parallel pendulum swing from very loose standards which led to the housing boom, to unnecessarily restrictive practices as an overreaction to the housing correction,” he said.

More Details:

Single-family home sales declined 4.0% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.12 million in July from 4.29 million in June, but are 21.5% above the 3.39 million level in July 2010. The median existing single-family home price was $174,800 in July, down 4.5% from a year ago.

Existing condominium and co-op sales were unchanged at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 550,000 in July, and are 17.3% above the 469,000-unit pace one year ago. The median existing condo price was $168,400 in July, down 4.0 percent from July 2010.

Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast rose 2.7% to an annual level of 750,000 in July and are 19.0% above July 2010. The median price in the Northeast was $245,600, down 6.8% from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the Midwest increased 1.0%  in July to a pace of 1.05 million and are 31.3% above a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $146,300, down 2.9% from July 2010.

In the South, existing-home sales declined 1.6% to an annual level of 1.84 million in July but are 19.5% above July 2010. The median price in the South was $152,600, which is 2.2% below a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West fell 12.6% to an annual pace of 1.04 million in July but are 16.9% above a year ago. The median price in the West was $208,300 down 7.1% from July 2010.

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