June home sales in a slump, prices flat

Published 9:14 am Thursday, July 11, 2024

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June temperatures were hot – home sales were not. They were 22.8 percent off May’s pace and 20 percent behind this time last year.

Prices also declined just enough to flatten the year-over-year trend line.

That’s the early market read. Look for some revisions by mid-month with the late closings factored into the mix. 

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June’s monthly market woes were the cumulative effect of high mortgage rates, low affordability, and an unexpected softening in the move-up and luxury markets. The mid-year trend is still on the positive side, but it, too, is softening. More about that later this month.   

The only price range that increased last month was the top bracket in the affordable market – $200K-$249,999. It was one sale better than June last year.  

Overall sales in the affordable market were down 15.5% while total sales in the $100K to $249,999 accounted for 38.6% of the region’s total sales.  

June is traditionally one of the best sales months of the year and the end of the spring buying and selling season. July and August are transition months before the annual seasonal softening, which begins in September and continues through the end of the year. 

The performance that took the wind out of June’s sales was the move-up and luxury markets. 

Sales in all three of the move-up market price brackets were down 24.9 percent and the luxury market was down 4.3 percent. 

Total sales were down 20.4 percent from the previous year. 

Although mortgage rates and affordability make June’s market look bleak, there is a slight silver lining to the market’s overall performance. Fewer sales allowed inventory to make its best increase so far this year.  

June’s active listings increased 24.9 percent giving the region 2.5 months of inventory. It was the best month for active listings since 2021.  

There are mixed signals about interest rates after last week’s increase to 6.95 percent for a fixed-rate 30-year loan. It was a small increase, and the ebb and flow has been below 7 percent for five weeks. Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), said that even with rates stuck at higher levels, there is some reason to believe the inventory shortage could ease.  

There is a good chance of that in the local market unless there’s a surge of buying during the last half of the year.  

There were almost 1,000 new listings in June. Of those 991 new listings, 29 percent were in the affordable market price range, 48 percent were in the move-up market and the rest were in the luxury market.