What You Need to Know about June Housing Numbers

Highlights from the latest housing report from the National Association of Realtors

The housing market has made a return trip to pre-recession levels as sales of existing homes hit an annualized rate of 5.49 million in June. That was the highest monthly number since February of 2007, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Sales of existing homes grew 3.2% in June compared with May and were 9.6% higher than 12 months earlier.

“Buyers have come back in force, leading to the strongest past two months in sales since early 2007,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “This wave of demand is being fueled by a year-plus of steady job growth and an improving economy that’s giving more households the financial wherewithal and incentive to buy.”

The June market also benefitted from some pent-up demand left over from this past winter when severe storms in much of the country kept shoppers housebound.

The strong demand has firmed up prices and the national median price of homes sold in June hit a new high of $236,400. That surpassed the previous peak of $230,400 set way back in July of 2006. Year-over-year home prices have increased for 40 consecutive months.

The West region boasted the highest priced homes sold, a median of $328,900. Sales grew 2.5% in June compared with 12 months ago.

Northeasterners saw home sales grow 4.3% at a median price of $281,200. In the South, sales inched up 2.3% at a median of $205,000. In the Midwest, sales volume jumped by 4.7% and buyers paid a median of $190,000.

Additionally, U.S. home builders have stepped up their efforts. They started construction on 10% more homes in June than in May and nearly 27% more than June 2014. Builder confidence, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), is at its highest level since 2005, well before the housing bust hit.

Homes, however, are not built in a day and many builders have to acquire developable lots before they begin construction. That’s not easy, according to NAHB economist Rob Dietz, because of tough lending standards.

VT

For a glimpse at what’s out there, check out this beautiful Ferrisburgh, VT home (pictured above), where $1,275,000 gets you four bedrooms, two and a half baths and lake views from every room.

Les is a Real Estate Market Specialist for Coldwell Banker Real Estate.

Born and raised in Whitestone, N.Y., and never having lived outside of NYC, Les is a graduate of City College of New York in Manhattan. Les switched careers in his late 30s, studying writing at New School and Brooklyn Polytechnic, now the New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering. Les has written for several magazines and copyedited books on early childhood education prior to joining CNNMoney as a personal finance writer, where his main beat was real estate. His wife and partner of 42 years is a retired magazine editor who spent her career at the New York Zoological Society (Bronx Zoo). They are residents of the Upper West Side.

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