Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

May 2019 Existing-Home Sales

  • NAR released a summary of existing-home sales data showing that housing market activity this May bounced back and rose 2.5% from April 2019, although May’s sales of existing homes fell 1.1% from May 2018. May’s existing home sales reached a 5.34 million seasonally adjusted annual rate.
Chart: U.S. Existing-Home Sales, May 2018 to May 2019
  • The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $277,700 in April, up 4.8% from a year ago. This would be the biggest price increase since August 2018 when prices rose 4.9%. This marks the 87th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.
Chart: Sales Price of Existing-Home Sales by Region
  • All four regions showed a growth in prices from a year ago. The Northeast had the largest gain of 6.6% followed by the Midwest with a gain of 5.6%. The West had an increase of 4.1%, followed by the South with the smallest increase of 3.6 from May 2018.
  • May’s inventory figures are up from last month’s 4.9% to 1.92 million homes for sale. Compared with May of 2018, there was a 2.7% increase in inventory levels. It will take 4.3 months to move the current level of inventory at the current sales pace. It takes approximately 26 days for a home to go from listing to a contract in the current housing market; homes only stayed on the market 26 days last year as well.
Chart: Inventory, May 2018 to May 2019
  • From April 2019, all four regions showed increases in sales. The Northeast had the biggest increase in sales at 4.7%. The Midwest rose 3.4% followed by the South and the West, both with a gain of sales of 1.8%.
  • From a year ago, two of the four regions showed declines in sales while the Northeast was flat. The South was the only region to have an increase at 1.3%. The West fell 3.4%, followed by the Midwest with the biggest decline of 3.9%. The South led all regions in percentage of national sales, accounting for 43.4% of the total, while the Northeast had the smallest share at 12.5%.
Chart: Percentage of Sales by Region
  • In May, single-family sales were up 2.6% and condominiums sales were up 1.7 from last month. Single-family home sales fell 0.8% and condominium sales were down 3.3% compared to a year ago. Single-family homes had an increase in price up 4.6% at $280,200 and condominiums rose 5.4% at $257,100 from May 2018.