Home sales are on the rise thanks to lower mortgage rates and greater inventory. According to the National Association of REALTORS® ; total existing-home sales—completed transactions including single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops—jumped 2.5% month over month in May, reaching a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.34 million. All four major regions of the U.S. saw an increase in sales last month, led by the Northeast.
Here’s a look at some of the top housing indicators from NAR’s latest report:
* Home prices: The median existing-home price for all housing types in May was $277,700, up 4.8% from a year ago. This marks the 87th consecutive month for annual increases.
* Inventories: Total housing inventory at the end of May rose to 1.92 million, up 2.7% from a year ago. Unsold inventory is at a 4.3-month supply at the current sales pace.
* Days on the market: Fifty-three percent of homes sold in May were on the market for less than a month. Properties remained on the market an average of 26 days in May, matching averages from a year ago.
* All-cash sales: All-cash transactions comprised 19% of sales in May, down from 21% a year ago. Individual investors tend to make up the largest bulk of all-cash sales. They purchased 13% of homes in May, down slightly from 14% a year ago.
* Distressed sales: The number of foreclosures and short sales continues to shrink. They represented just 2% of sales in May, down from 3% a year ago. Less than 1% of existing-home sales in May were short sales.
Here’s a closer look at how existing-home sales fared across the country in May:
* Northeast: Existing-home sales rose 4.7% to an annual rate of 670,000, nearly matching its pace from a year ago. Median price: $304,100, up 6.6% from May 2018.
* Midwest: Existing-home sales increased 3.4% to an annual rate of 1.22 million, 3.9% below a year ago. Median price: $220,500, an increase of 5.6% from a year ago.
* South: Existing-home sales increased 1.8% to an annual rate of 2.32 million in May, up 1.3% from a year ago. Median price: $241,400, up 3.6% from a year ago.
* West: Existing-home sales rose 1.8% last month to an annual rate of 1.13 million, 3.4% below a year ago. Median Price: $409,100, up 4.1% from a year ago.