The Real Deal Miami

Purchases fell as home prices soared in June

The U.S. housing shortage is particularly acute at the lower end of market
July 23, 2013 10:00AM

Patrick Newport

Patrick Newport

Sales of existing homes unexpectedly dropped nationwide in June as demand outstripped supply and mortgage rates rose, Bloomberg reported.

“We’re not expecting really strong numbers for the rest of the year even though the housing market is getting hot. What you’re seeing is this pent-up demand show up in higher prices, not in higher sales,” Patrick Newport, an economist at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts, told the news wire.

The inventory shortage was particularly noticeable at the lower end of the housing spectrum, as galloping home prices erode first-time homeowners’ purchasing power, Newport said.

Purchases fell 1.2 percent to a 5.08 million annualized rate, the National Association of Realtors reported Monday in Washington.

The median price of an existing home climbed 13.5 percent to $214,200 last month from $188,800 a year earlier, Monday’s report showed.

The number of properties on the market increased 1.9 percent to 2.19 million, the fewest for any June since 2001. [Bloomberg]Emily Schmall