From RealTrends.com: June 12, 2014 – The REAL Trends Housing Market Report for May 2014 shows that housing sales declined by 1.8 percent from the same month a year ago, an improvement over the decline of 6.1 percent year over year in April 2014. The annual rate of new and existing home sales for May 2014 was 5.866 million units down from a rate of 5.973 million in May 2013. Even though home sales decreased on a year over year basis, the average price of homes sold continued to increase with prices up 7.0 percent in May 2014 compared to May 2013, another strong showing.
Housing unit sales for May 2014 increased 1.9 percent in the South, the best performance in all regions. The Midwest saw sales units decrease 2.1 percent, in the Northeast sales declined 5.0 percent and the West region saw a decrease of 5.4 percent.
The average price of homes sold in May 2014 increased 7.0 percent across the country, a strong showing despite the across the board decline in home sales. The West region had the best results with the average price of homes sold increasing 12.6 percent followed by the South region where prices were up 6.9 percent. The Midwest saw an increase of 6.0 percent and the Northeast had the smallest increase at 2.5 percent.
“May 2014 sales of new and existing homes reflected the decline in the affordability rate in most regions, the after effects of the poor showing in the general economy in the first quarter of the year and the lack of inventory”, said Steve Murray, editor of the REAL Trends Housing Market Report. “We appear to have reached a plateau that absent an increase in the market for jobs, income growth or looser underwriting standards, there are no evident drivers of a sustained recovery in housing unit sales. The recent increase in inventory will help, as will the recovery in the general economy. We also believe that given historical norms for home buying as a percent of households we are at or near the expected level of housing sales.”