Home Sales Down 34% Over Previous Year While Price Increases Remain
May, often the second-strongest month for home sales, saw what many believe may be the biggest housing impact from the pandemic as closings dropped 33.7% compared to last year.
All 53 markets in the report sustained double-digit year-over-year sales declines:
• Sales in four markets shrunk by more than half, led by Detroit’s drop of 64.8%
• Eighteen markets saw sales drop by one-fourth to one-third
• Des Moines’s sales decline of 14.3% was the smallest
While the Median Sales Price of $272,000 was up 4.7%, it was softer than the 5.4% average May-to-May price increase in the previous five years.
Inventory dropped 25% year-over-year to one of the lowest levels for May in the report’s 12-year history. Only Indianapolis (12.7%), Wichita (4.3%) and Chicago (1%) posted increases in the number of homes for sale compared to May 2019.
With May being the second full month under stay-at-home mandates in many states, home sales were the lowest for the month since 2012, and on a par with wintertime home-sales activity. Compare that to 2017, 2018 and 2019, when May posted the highest or second-highest home sales of the year. June typically sees the year’s most home sales and highest Median Sales Price.
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