US existing home sales bounce back in May as spring buying season heats up: report

More than 5.3M homes traded hands last month, a 2.5% spike over April, according to the National Association of Realtors

(Credit: iStock)
(Credit: iStock)

Sales of existing homes bounced back last month, as a rocky winter gave way to a robust spring buying season in all parts of the county.

Economists credited plummeting mortgage rates for a 2.5 percent national uptick in sales of previously-owned homes between April and May, according to a National Association of Realtors report cited in Bloomberg. About 5.34 million contracts closed last month, beating the association’s predictions.

The median sale price for existing homes, which comprise about 90 percent of national home sales, rose by 4.8 percent over May 2018, reaching $277,000. Numbers are set to be released Tuesday for sales of newly-built homes.

Sales volume notched up across all four regions studied by the Realtors: the Northeast, South, Midwest and West. The Northeast saw the biggest spike, with a 4.7 percent rise.

The number of homes on the market nationwide expanded to 1.92 million, the most since July.

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Home prices are even on the rise in the Chicago area, which was forecast to have one of the weakest housing markets in the country this year.

Ths strong numbers released Friday fly in the face of signs the national housing market is cooling off, including a May report showing a slowdown in home price growth.

Earlier this month, the 30-year fixed-rate average mortgage rate fell to 3.72 percent, its lowest level in nearly two years.

[Bloomberg] — Alex Nitkin