Single-family existing home sales fell 3.2% in May as April sales were revised downward and severe weather hampered homebuying in the Midwest.
The National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) report Tuesday morning showed that sales of previously owned single-family homes fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.24 million in May from a 4.38 million rate in April.
April sales were revised downward by 140,000 units. Overall single-family homes are down 15% from a year ago.
Only the Western states registered a month-to-month increase in sales. Sales rose by 1% in the West but fell by 7% in the Midwest, 4% in the South and 1.7% in the Northeast based on a seasonally adjusted annual rate.
"The large decline in Midwestern existing-home sales can be attributed partly to the flooding and other severe weather patterns that occurred, but this also implies a temporary nature of soft market activity,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.
He expects sales in the second half of this year will be "stronger" than the first half.
Tuesday’s report also shows that 30% of sales completed in May were all-cash transactions, down from 31% in the previous month.
While sales fell month-to-month, the Realtors report indicates the median price of a single-family rose 3.3% in May to $166,700. This marks the third consecutive monthly increase. However, the median price is down 4.5% from a year ago.
Separately, RE/MAX found that existing home sales in metropolitan markets rose 3.7% in May on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, compared to a 3.3% increase in April.
Sales rose in 42 of the 53 metropolitan markets tracked by the Denver-based real estate brokerage company and 15 markets saw double-digit gains.