In NAR's methodology existing-home sales are completed transactions for the month prior. Their data includes all property types: single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops.
The national median existing-home price for all housing types rose 7.9% from a year ago, the third consecutive month of year-over-year price gains. The last time there were three back-to-back price increases from the same month a year earlier was from March to May of 2006.
- Single-family home sales are 10.4% above May 2011. The median existing single-family home price was up 7.7% in May from a year ago.
- Condominium and co-op sales are 4.2% higher than one year ago. The median existing condo price is 8.8% above May 2011.
- Northeast - existing home sales were 7.3% higher than May 2011, the median sales price rose 3.8% from last year
- Midwest - sales rose 19.5% above a year ago, the median price gained 6.4%
- South - sales increased 9.2% over May 2011, the median price rose 7.8%
- West - existing home sales gained 3.6% from a year ago, the median price rose 13.4%
In the local Washington area recent reports indicate a seller's market heading into the summer months. Median sale prices showed gain of 11% over May 2011 while active listings dropped 32.4% -- the lowest May-level since 2005. The shrinking housing supply indicates a stabilizing market for the DC Metro area, as sales have increased and listings have declined.
NAR President Moe Veissi offers advice to buyers in markets with limited supply like the DC Metro area. "We are hearing a lot about multiple bidding and quick sales in areas with tight supply, with competition between first-time buyers and cash investors, who have a significant advantage," he said.
"It's extremely important to listen to the advice of your agent and perform all the due diligence that you would normally do in a more balanced market, such as making offers contingent upon a satisfactory home inspection," Veissi said.
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