Existing home sales slip 2% in May

By Hibah Yousuf, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Existing home sales slipped in May and missed estimates but sustained a strong pace as homebuyers who qualified for the expired tax credit moved to close deals ahead of the June 30 deadline.

The National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales dipped 2.2% last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.66 million units, down from the upwardly revised rate of 5.79 million in April. Sales year-over-year were up 19.2%.

Analysts surveyed by Briefing.com were looking for resales in May to rise to an annual rate of 6.1 million units.

Although homebuyers had to sign contracts by the end of April to qualify for a tax credit up to $8,000, they have until the end of June to close deals. Existing home sales data is based on transaction closings, so figures still reflect strong interest in the credit.

So the tax credit, stabilizing home prices and low mortgage rates kept sales at elevated levels last month, said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.

"We are witnessing the ongoing effects of the homebuyer tax credit, which we'll also see in June real estate closings," Yun said.

The Senate could pass an amendment to push the closing deadline back to Sept. 30 as part of a controversial job and tax bill.

Price and inventory: The NAR report showed that the median price of homes sold in May was $179,600, up 2.7% from a year ago. Just under a third of homes sold during the month were distressed properties.

Total housing inventory fell 3.4% to 3.89 million existing homes for sale. That represents a 8.3-month supply at the current sales pace, down from a 8.4-month supply in April. A six month of supply is considered normal.

Sales by property and region: Sales of single-family homes declined 1.6% in May compared to the prior month, while condominium and co-op sales sank nearly 7%.

The Northeast fared the worst last month, with sales plunging 18.3% to an annual level of 890,000 units in May. That's still 12.7% higher than a year earlier.

Resales in the Midwest were unchanged in May from the previous month at an annual pace of 1.33 million units. They rose by a modest 0.5% in the South and 4.9% in the West.  To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,408.54 -16.31 -0.10%
Nasdaq 4,095.52 9.29 0.23%
S&P 500 1,864.85 2.54 0.14%
Treasuries 2.72 0.08 3.19%
Data as of 8:44pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.15 0.00 0.00%
Facebook Inc 58.94 0.00 0.00%
General Electric Co 26.56 0.00 0.00%
Cisco Systems Inc 23.19 -0.02 -0.09%
Micron Technology In... 23.91 0.00 0.00%
Data as of Apr 17
Sponsors

Sections

Spencer has been a supporting member of the "Good Morning America" cast for the past three years. More

Obamacare sign ups hit 8 million, though final enrollment remains to be seen. More

Office for iPad move is a symbolic victory for Nadella's Microsoft, but the company is still weighed down by many of the same old issues. More

Schwinn, Trek and Cannondale are all iconic American bicycle brands. But none of them are made in the United States. More

As Detroit moves closer to reaching a bankruptcy deal, retired civilian workers are poised to be left worse off than firemen and police officers. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.