US existing home sales drop in May

24 June, 2021 12:00 AM printer

NEW YORK: Existing-home sales fell again in May as limited inventories of available homes again lifted US median home prices to a new record, according to industry data released Tuesday.

Completed transactions of single-family homes dropped 0.9 percent from April to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.8 million in May, according to the National Association of Realtors, reports AFP.

“Home sales fell moderately in May and are now approaching pre-pandemic activity,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.

“Lack of inventory continues to be the overwhelming factor holding back home sales, but falling affordability is simply squeezing some first-time buyers out of the market.” Total housing inventory rose 7.0 percent in May from April, but the median price for all housing types was $350,300, up 23.6 percent from the year-ago period and yet another record.

Low mortgage rates enabled by the Federal Reserve’s emergency rate cuts at the start of the Covid-19 crisis helped support the housing market last year even as the US economy grappled with widespread unemployment caused by the pandemic.