Real Estate Market

Real Estate News from North Iowa: July 2018

National Real Estate Overview

Note: May 2018 data below are the most recent released by the National Association of Realtors.

Data from the National Association of Realtors® shows that existing-home sales dipped in May for the second straight month, with only the Northeast region seeing sales growth.

Total existing-home sales (transactions including single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops) fell 0.4% to 5.43 million in May from 5.45 million in April. With this dip, sales now sit 3.0% under a year ago and have dropped for three straight months.

National Association of Realtors May 2018 DataNAR's chief economist, Lawrence Yun, said a healthy economy and job market should be leading to a brisker sales pace than we've seen in 2018. “Closings were down in a majority of the country last month and declined on an annual basis in each major region,” Yun said. The longtime NAR economist added, “Incredibly low supply continues to be the primary impediment to more sales, but there’s no question the combination of higher prices and mortgage rates are pinching the budgets of prospective buyers, and ultimately keeping some from reaching the market.”

The median existing-home price in the U.S. in May was $264,800, a record high and 4.9% higher than May 2017 ($252,500). May’s price increase represents the 75th straight month of year-over-year gains.

Total U.S. housing inventory at May's end grew 2.8% to 1.85 million existing homes available for sale, but remains 6.1% below than last year (1.97 million) and inventory nationwide has fallen for 36 straight months.

Individual markets vary, but properties nationwide remained on the market for 26 days in May, unchanged from April but a day lower than 27 days on market for all of 2017.

Per Freddie Mac data, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage bumped up for the seventh consecutive month to 4.59% in May from 4.47% in April. The average commitment rate for all of 2017 was 3.99%

First-time buyers drove 31% of May's sales, down from 33% both last month and a year ago.

The Price Is Right...Or Is It?