Existing home sales gained 1.1% to a seasonally adjusted 5.62 million-unit rate in May from a revised 2.5% decline to a 5.56 million sales pace the previous month, the National Association of Realtors announced Wednesday.
The April rate was originally reported as a 2.3 drop to 5.57 million.
The May rate represents a 2.7% increase from the same month a year ago, and was above the median 5.55 million unit pace predicted by economists polled by Thomson Reuters.
“The job market in most of the country is healthy and the recent downward trend in mortgage rates continues to keep buyer interest at a robust level,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. “Those able to close on a home last month are probably feeling both happy and relieved. Listings in the affordable price range are scarce, homes are coming off the market at an extremely fast pace and the prevalence of multiple offers in some markets are pushing prices higher.”
Sales in the regions were mostly higher in May. They were up 6.8% in the Northeast, 3.4% in the West, 2.2% in the South, but down 5.9% in the Midwest.
The median sales price was $252,800 in May, a new peak median, and a 5.8% increase from a year ago.
Inventory levels grew 2.1% from the previous month to 1.96 million existing homes, representing a 4.2-month supply at the current pace. Inventory was down 8.4% from the May 2016 level.