Median Home Price in June Highest Since 2008, Annual Gain of 7.9% Largest Since February 2006
The National Association of Realtors released its report today on June home sales, and most of the media focus seems to be on the disappointing 4.5% drop in existing-home sales from 4.62 million units in May (revised upward from 4.55 previously reported) to 4.37 million homes in June. For example, the WSJ reports that:
"Sales of previously occupied homes in the U.S. took an unexpected dip last month to the lowest level in eight months, a sign of weakness for a part of the economy that has been showing life."
But compared to June of last year, existing-home sales were up by 4.5%, which is the 12th consecutive month of an annual increase in units sold, following 11 months out of the previous 12 months of annual decreases in home sales. And here's some other positive news from the report about median-home prices:
The median-price for homes sold in June was $184,000, which is the highest level since September of 2008, almost four years ago (see chart above). Year-over-year, the median home price in June was almost 8% above last year, which was the largest annual increase since a 8.7% gain in February 2006. The June year-to-year increase in median price was the fourth consecutive increase, following 15 straight months of decreases. The last time there were four back-to-back months of annual increases in median home prices was in the spring of 2006, more than six years ago.
Note that when the Case-Shiller report on home prices comes out showing negative or weak annual increases in home prices, that's reported as a sign of housing market weakness. So now that median-home prices are close to a 4-year high, and showing the largest annual increase in more than six years, shouldn't that be reported as a sign of housing market strength and recovery?
Update: Mortgage rates fell again this week to new all-time record lows of 3.53% for the 30-year and 2.83% for the 15-year.