Existing-home sales declined in July from an upwardly revised June pace but are notably higher than a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Monthly gains in the Northeast and Midwest were offset by declines in the West and South.
Total existing-home sales1, which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, fell 3.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.67 million in July from 4.84 million in June, but are 21.0 percent above the 3.86 million unit pace in July 2010, which was a cyclical low immediately following the expiration of the home buyer tax credit.
A couple key points on this report which I believe are the biggest obstacles to the housing market recovering right behind jobs is all the new lending and appraisal regulations:
Contract failures – cancellations caused largely by declined mortgage applications or failures in loan underwriting from appraised values coming in below the negotiated price – were unchanged in July, reported by 16 percent of NAR members. In addition, 9 percent of Realtors® report a contract was delayed in the past three months due to low appraisals, and another 13 percent said a contract was renegotiated to a lower sales price because an appraisal was below the initially agreed price.
If you dig much deeper into this report, we discover their data by Metro region. I was even more disappointed by the Minneapolis/St Paul ranking on the median price change on this chart.. (remember, this is Median price – not every house..) I was very impressed with our increase in sales though!
This is certainly disappointing news, but we should also keep in mind what we know about our local real estate market. We are doing much better than we were a year ago. We still have a long ways to go, but we are trending the right direction.
Even though the news is not all rosey, we are still seeing rays of hope.
To view more about the local market statistics, check out The Thing from the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.
- Home sales take a sharp turn down (money.cnn.com)
- Existing-home sales down again in July (msnbc.msn.com)
- Existing U.S. Home Sales Drops Unexpectedly (businessweek.com)
- Existing Home Sales for July 2011 Disappoint (johnmurphyreports.com)