Sales of existing homes rebounded in May returning to near their post-recession high as a tight market pushed the median selling price to an all-time record.
Contract closings for previously occupied homes rose 1.1 percent to a 5.62 million annual rate from April's 5.56 million revised pace, reported the National Association of Realtors on Wednesday. Sales had been forecast to fall 0.5 percent in May after they slipped 2.5 percent the previous month.
The median sale price was 5.8 percent higher this May than last, and at $252,800 was the highest in the almost 50 year history of the series.
May sales rose in three of the country's four geographic regions. They were 6.8 percent higher in the Northeast, and 5.9 percent lower in Midwest. Initial buyers were 33 percent of all purchases in May, down slightly from 334 percent in April. Single-family home sales rose 1 percent in May to an annualized pace of 4.98 million.
At the selling rate, it would take 4.2 months to clear the current inventory, up from 4.1 months in April, Last May the supply of unsold homes was 4.7 months. Inventory of less than five months is considered a tight market was the realtors association.
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