Hot real estate market shows signs of cooling

Sales of previously occupied homes in the United States rose for the second consecutive month in July, albeit modestly from a year ago, suggesting that the scorching real estate market may cool down a bit, an even more trend. pronounced in Massachusetts where sales fell.

Existing home sales rose 2% last month from June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.99 million units, the National Association of Realtors said on Monday. That’s more than the 5.82 million economists expected, according to FactSet.

Sales were only up 1.5% from July last year. By comparison, sales in June jumped about 23% from the previous year, when many states were still in pandemic containment.

“Sales are still above pre-pandemic conditions, but appear to be leveling off,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR.

In Massachusetts, the slowdown was more pronounced, with single-family home sales falling more than 7% from July 2020 and about 1.5% from 2019, according to data from The Warren Group this week. last.

“The chickens may have finally come home to roost for Massachusetts homebuyers,” said Tim Warren, CEO of The Warren Group. “From the start of the third quarter of 2020, it was evident that based on the surge in sales, coupled with the ever-shrinking inventory of single-family homes across the state,… it was only a matter of time. before we saw sales start to slide year over year.

The median US home price rose 17.8% from a year ago to $ 359,900, near the all-time high it reached in June, NAR said. This annual gain was more modest than the 20-25% year-over-year increases seen earlier this year.

“Obviously, the growth in house prices is moderating,” Yun said.

The 6,327 single-family home sales in Massachusetts last month had a median selling price of $ 540,000 – a new high for July and the fourth consecutive month with a median selling price above $ 500,000, analysts said of the real estate market.

Nationally, sales of homes above $ 500,000 increased last month, while those below that level fell, helping to skew the median price up.

Prospective buyers who had been trying to navigate the most competitive market for over a decade may have had a wider choice to consider at the end of July, when the inventory of unsold homes stood at 1.32. million. That’s a 7.3% increase from June, but it’s still a 12% drop from July of last year.

With so few homes for sale, it has become common for anyone putting a home on the market to receive multiple offers that exceed the asking price, and many sell within days. In July, homes typically stayed on the market for 17 days before being bought. This is unchanged from June, but down from 22 days in July 2020.

“I think we will have more inventory in the coming months,” Yun said.

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