Mortgage rates boost existing-home sales

Existing-home sales grew 2.5 percent during July, according to data from the National Association of Retailers. Following a steady decrease of sales from late 2018 into early 2019, NAFCU Chief Economist and Vice President of Research Curt Long attributed the growth to lower mortgage rates.

July’s uptick follows a string of months that saw a decrease in home sales, including a decrease of 1.7 percent the previous month.

“Overall inventory declined slightly in July and remains tight, but the real problems have been in the starter home category,” Long said in a Macro Data Flash report. “Limited availability has led to rapid appreciation, pricing out many prospective first-time buyers.”

Sales in the West saw the biggest increase at 8.3 percent from the previous month. The Midwest and South saw increases of 1.6 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively; the Northeast was the only region that saw a decrease with sales falling 2.9 percent.

 

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