Sales of previously-owned homes fell more than expected in June as limited inventories continued to push the properties prices higher.
Existing-home sales fell 1.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.52 million in June, The National Association of Realtors said on Monday. Economist polled by Reuters had estimated a 5.58 million pace.
Resales in May was unrevised at 5.62 million units.
The shortage of available properties worsened in June. Inventories fell 7.1 percent to 1.96 million units from a year ago. As supply doesn’t match the demand, house price continued to go up. The median house price rose to an all-time high of $263,800 in June, a 6.5 percent increase from a year earlier. This also marked the 64th straight month of yearly price increase.
“It’s difficult to sell homes when there are so few available to buy, and the chronic inventory shortage the market has been suffering from — bordering on an inventory crisis at this point — is now more than two years old,” noted Zillow Chief Economist Svenja Gudell. “There are about as many homes for sale now as there were in 1994, except there are about 63 million more people in this country now than there were then.
This make it difficult for first-time buyers to buy properties. According to the Realtors’ data, first-time buyers only accounted for 32 percent of transactions in June.
“Housing is recovering but it’s not a healthy situation,” Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said at a press briefing accompanying the report. “There are affordability challenges. Homes prices have easily outpaced income growth and first-time buyers are struggling to get into the market.”