Note: May 2021 Market Update below are the most recent released by the National Association of Realtors.
Existing-home sales decreased for a fourth straight month in May, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Only one major U.S. region recorded a month-over-month increase, while the other three regions saw sales decline. However, each of the four areas again registered double-digit year-over-year gains.
Total existing-home sales (transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops) dropped 0.9% from April to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.80 million in May. Sales in total climbed year-over-year, up 44.6% from a year ago (4.01 million in May 2020).
The median existing-home price for all housing types in May was $350,300, up 23.6% from May 2020 ($283,500), as every region registered price increases. This is a record high and marks 111 straight months of year-over-year gains since March 2012.
Total housing inventory at the end of May amounted to 1.23 million units, up 7.0% from April’s inventory and down 20.6% from one year ago (1.55 million). Unsold inventory sits at a 2.5-month supply at the present sales pace, marginally up from April’s 2.4-month supply but down from 4.6-months in May 2020.
Properties typically remained on the market for 17 days in May, unchanged from April and down from 26 days in May 2020. Eighty-nine percent of the homes sold in May 2021 were on the market for less than a month.
First-time buyers were responsible for 31% of sales in May, also even with April but down from 34% in May 2020. NAR’s 2020 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers revealed that the annual share of first-time buyers was 31%.
Individual investors or second-home buyers, who account for many cash sales, purchased 17% of homes in May, even with April and up from 14% in May 2020. All-cash sales accounted for 23% of transactions in May, down from 25% in April and up from 17% in May 2020.