US Home Sales, Prices, Ownership Rates: May, June, 2Q 2017

According to the US Census Bureau’s Housing Vacancy Survey, released Thursday the US homeownership rate was 63.7 per cent in 2Q 2017, which is statistically no different from its last quarter reading of 63.6 per cent. The rate of homeownership appears to be stabilizing after reaching a cycle low of 62.9 per cent in 2Q 2016 said the Census Bureau.


Home Ownership Rates, Household Formation: 2Q 2017

The rate of homeownership appears to be stabilizing after reaching a cycle low of 62.9 per cent in 2Q 2016. It was 1.3 per cent higher than a year ago and follows the first annual gains since the Great Recession recorded in 1Q 2017 (0.2 per cent increase). This may be a sign that the homeownership rate has bottomed out, said US Census Bureau Thursday.

Compared to a year ago, homeownership increased among all age groups, with the largest gains recorded by millennials. The millennial homeownership rates increased 1.2 per cent, followed by the households aged 55-64 rose by 0.7 per cent. This suggests that households, especially younger and middle-age homebuyers, are gradually returning to the housing market after the Great Recession.

US House Inventory: June

Sales of new single-family homes rose 0.8 per cent in June 2017 to 610,000 as reported jointly by the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development Wednesday. The June increase reflected a downward revision to the estimate of new home sales in May. If the May sales number remained at its initially reported level of 610,000, then sales would have been unchanged.

However, additional information suggests that nationwide sales are expanding. Sales are 9.1 per cent above their level 12 months ago. At the same time, on a year-to-date basis (Jan-Jun 2017), sales are 10.9 per cent above their pace over the first half of 2016.

The inventory of homes rose 1.1 per cent to 272,000 over the month of June. This level is also 11.9 per cent above the inventory in June 2016. Over June, the months’ supply increased by 1.9 per cent to 5.4 months, 3.8 per cent higher than one year ago. Nevertheless, the months’ supply remains below the healthy 6.0 benchmark.

The median sales price fell 3.4 per cent over the past 12 months to US$310,800.

US House Prices: May

In May national home prices rose slowly, while the pace of gains varied by market.

US Home Sales: June 2017

The Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, reported Monday by S&P Dow Jones Indices, rose at a growth rate of 2.6 per cent in May, the slowest rate of growth in the past 11 months. After reaching 8.7 per cent in November 2016, house price appreciation has been decelerating and averaged 4.8 per cent over the last six months.

The Home Price Index, released also Monday, from the Federal Housing Finance Agency rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.7 per cent in May, following the 8 per cent increase in April, con rming the deceleration in home prices in the US.

US Home Sales: June 2017

Still on Monday, existing home sales decreased 1.8 per cent in June, but remain 0.7 per cent above the pace a year ago, reported the National Association of Realtors. Some 54 per cent of existing homes sold last month were on the market less than a month as buyers overcame low inventory and higher prices. June inventory declined 0.5 per cent, and remains 7.1 per cent lower than a year ago, having fallen year-over-year for the 25th consecutive month. At the current sales rate, the June unsold inventory represents a 4.3-month supply, down from a 4.6 -month supply a year ago. June existing sales reached a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.52 million units.

The June median sales price jumped 6.5 per cent from last year to US$263,800, representing the 64th consecutive month of year-over-year increases. The June median condominium/ co-op price of US$245,900 was also up 6.5 per cent from the same month a year ago.

May pending sales dipped for the third consecutive month, so the June decline in existing sales was not unexpected. NAR reported that many markets face severe housing shortages. However, builder confidence remains solid, and single-family starts bounced back in June as both jobs and incomes continue to grow.