March 2021 in New York City, a house is for sale in a neighborhood in Brooklyn with a limited supply of single-family homes.
Spencer Platt | Getty Images
After four straight months of declines, condominium sales rose 1.4% month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.86 million units in June, according to the National Association of Realtors.
These sales represent deals based on contracts signed in April and May.
Sales were up 22.9% compared to June 2020. That year-on-year comparison is still slightly skewed due to the pandemic lockdowns in certain parts of the country that lasted until last summer, according to the brokers.
The number of apartments for sale was 1.25 million at the end of June, which corresponds to an offer of 2.6 months at the current rate of sale. That is a slight improvement over the 2.5-month offer in May.
"Maybe we made a curve in inventory," said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR. "The demand is falling a little."
Low inventory levels continue to put pressure on prices. The median price of an existing home sold in June hit an all-time high of $ 363,300. That was 23.4% more than the price in June 2020. Much of that profit, however, is due to the types of houses sold. Sales of homes priced between $ 100,000 and $ 250,000 fell 16% annually. Sales of homes priced between $ 750,000 and $ 1 million increased 119%.
"On a broad scale, there is no danger that home prices will fall due to shortages in inventory, but I expect prices will rise more slowly through the end of the year," Yun said. "Ideally, the cost of owning a home would increase roughly with income growth, which is likely to happen in 2022, when more offers and new buildings become available."
Price gains could cool off. According to Realtor.com, new listings were up 9% last week compared to the same week a year ago. Inventory saw its 15th consecutive week of declining declines.
"Although more sellers entered the market last week, homebuyers are understandably frustrated with the ongoing lack of affordable properties for sale," Realtor.com chief economist Danielle Hale said in a press release. "The surge in new listings offers a glimmer of hope for buyers trying to find a home and secure the still-low mortgage rates. With the general public agreeing that now is a good time to sell, we may well be more new sellers in the coming weeks and the end of inventory drops before we end the year. "
Mortgage rates in April and May when these contracts were signed were slightly lower than in March. They moved in a very narrow range over the months so they probably wouldn't have played a role in getting buyers to enter or exit the market.
Buyers are also seeing more competition from investors. They accounted for 14% of total sales compared to just 9% a year ago. Additionally, cash-only purchases, which are mostly investors, rose to 23% of sales, up from 16% a year ago.