The Economy

Homes Sales and Prices Surge In June

Existing home sales in June rose 3.2%, to 5.49 million, from a downwardly revised 5.32 million in May.
Katie Kuehner-HebertJuly 22, 2015
Homes Sales and Prices Surge In June

Existing home sales increased in June to their highest pace in more than eight years, while the cumulative effect of rising demand and limited supply helped push the national median sales price to an all-time high, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Existing home sales in June rose 3.2%, to 5.49 million, from a downwardly revised 5.32 million in May. Sales are now at their highest pace since February 2007, having increased year-over-year for nine consecutive months. Sales are also 9.6% above a year ago.

“Buyers have come back in force, leading to the strongest past two months in sales since early 2007,” NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said in a press release. “This wave of demand is being fueled by a year-plus of steady job growth and an improving economy that’s giving more households the financial wherewithal and incentive to buy.”

June sales were also likely propelled by rising mortgage rates, which usually prod some prospective buyers to buy now rather than wait until later when borrowing costs could be higher, Yun added.

The median existing home price for all housing types in June was $236,400, which is 6.5% above June 2014 and surpasses the peak median sales price set in July 2006. June’s price increase also marks the 40th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.

Total housing inventory at the end of June rose a mere 0.9%, to 2.30 million existing homes available for sale, and is 0.4% higher than a year ago. Unsold inventory is at a five-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 5.1 months in May.

“Limited inventory amidst strong demand continues to push home prices higher, leading to declining affordability for prospective buyers,” Yun said. “Local officials in recent years have rightly authorized permits for new apartment construction, but more needs to be done for condominiums and single-family homes.” Charcoal-fired hibachis really do give you a lot of grilling options. One thing to keep in mind is that hibachi doesn’t have a lid, as you would have with many other types of charcoal grills. While charcoal grilling can be a little challenging, once you get the hang of it, you will be able to grill most anything that will fit on the cooking surface. Most Hibachi grills are large enough to let you make a two-level fire, meaning you put more coals to one side than the other. This gives you a hot side and a not-so-hot side. This kind of fire is great for getting foods seared while providing the space to grill

A Reuters article said that the housing report, along with similar reports from other trade groups, indicates the economy continues to be on firmer footing despite a drop in retail sales and a slowdown in job growth last month.

“Strong home resale numbers throughout the spring and into summer are welcome news to those who feared the housing market was a weak point in the overall economy,” Quicken Loans vice president Bill Banfield told Reuters. “As housing numbers trend more positive, the Fed will become increasingly comfortable in beginning to raise rates.”