Existing home sales fell 0.6% to a seasonally adjusted 5.38 million-unit rate in June from a downwardly revised 5.41 million sales pace the previous month, first reported as 5.43 million, the National Association of Realtors announced Monday.

The June rate is a 2.2% decrease from the same month a year ago. The headline number was below the median 5.40 million unit pace predicted by economists polled by IFR Markets.

existing homes

“There continues to be a mismatch since the spring between the growing level of homebuyer demand in most of the country in relation to the actual pace of home sales, which are declining,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. “The root cause is without a doubt the severe housing shortage that is not releasing its grip on the nation’s housing market. What is for sale in most areas is going under contract very fast and in many cases, has multiple offers. This dynamic is keeping home price growth elevated, pricing out would-be buyers and ultimately slowing sales.”

Sales in the regions were mixed. They were up 5.9% in the Northeast and 0.8% in the Midwest, but off 2.2% in the South, and 2.6% lower in the West.

The median sales price was $276,900 in June, a record high, up 5.2% from a year ago.

Inventory levels rose 4.3% from the previous month to 1.95 million existing homes, representing a 4.3-month supply at the current pace. Inventory was up 0.5% from the June 2017 level.

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