New data from the National Association of Realtors show sales of previously owned homes fell in May. Existing home sales were down 3.4 percent from the month before and 8.6 percent from one year earlier. The decline is evidence that the market is beginning to level off, after two years of frenetic activity.
Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, says sales trends are starting to return to where they were pre-pandemic. “Home sales have essentially returned to the levels seen in 2019 – prior to the pandemic – after two years of gangbuster performance,” Yun said. “Also, the market movements of single-family and condominium sales are nearly equal, possibly implying that the preference towards suburban living over city life that had been present over the past two years is fading with a return to pre-pandemic conditions.”
But not all aspects of the market have returned to pre-pandemic conditions. For example, homes are still selling faster than normal. In fact, the typical listing remained on the market just 16 days in May and 88 percent of homes sold were on the market less than a month.
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