U.S. sales increase 9.6 percent in May
Friday, June 22, 2012
Limited supplies of housing inventory held back existing-home sales in May, but sales maintained a strong lead over year-ago levels and home prices are on a sustained uptrend in all regions, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.
Total existing-home sales are 9.6 percent above the 4.15 million-unit pace in May 2011.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says inventory shortages in certain areas have been building all year. "The slight pullback in monthly home sales is more likely due to supply constraints rather than softening demand. The normal seasonal upturn in inventory did not occur this spring," he says. "Even with the monthly decline, home sales have moved markedly higher with 11 consecutive months of gains over the same month a year earlier."
There are broad-based shortages of inventory in the lower price ranges in much of the country except the Northeast, and in the West supply is extremely tight in all price ranges except for the upper end. Widespread inventory shortages also are found in much of Florida.