Magazine article Mortgage Banking

May Existing-Home Sales Stable, near Historic Highs. (Business Alert)

Magazine article Mortgage Banking

May Existing-Home Sales Stable, near Historic Highs. (Business Alert)

Article excerpt

ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of Realtors[R] (NAR), Washington, D.C. existing single-family home sales were essentially unchanged in May and remained near historically high levels. Existing-home sales slipped 0.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.75 million units in May from a level of 5.77 million units in April, which was the third-highest sales pace since record keeping began in 1968. May's sales activity was the fourth-highest on record and was 6.5 percent higher than the 5.4-million unit pace in May 2001. (The annual rate for a particular month represents what the total number of actual sales for a year would be if the relative pace for that month were maintained for 12 consecutive months. Seasonally adjusted annual rates are used in reporting monthly data to factor out seasonal variations in resale activity.)

According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage was 6.81 percent in May, down from 6.99 percent in April; it was 7.15 percent in May 2001. The national median existing-home price was $154,600 in May, up 6.6 percent from May 2001 when the median price was $145,000. The median is the midpoint, which is a typical market price where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less. …

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