On Monday, June 23, National Association of Realtors (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun reported that US existing-home sales in May were outstandingly up by 4.9% to an annual rate of 4.89 million units. That monthly percentage gain not only exceeded expectations, but also was the highest since August 2011. RBS Markets chief U.S. economist Michelle Girard welcomed the good news by saying “The long-awaited spring bounce in home sales looks to have finally appeared”.
The National Association of Realtors also added that May’s total housing inventory rose 2.2% to 2.28 million existing homes available for sale, thus making it 6% higher than a year ago. Stephanie Karol from IHS Global Insight responded to this May’s sales and inventory improvement by stating “As long as sellers feel assured of making a profit, they will feel emboldened to list their homes; and as buyers feel they have a good selection of well-located properties to choose from, they will continue to look and bid”.
Nevertheless, during May, the market seemed to remain difficult for buyers with modest financial resources as they experienced a 27% decline of their share of sales, down 2 percentage points from April and from April 2013.