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  • alejandravalinerea

Key Highlights

  • Existing-home sales fell for the sixth consecutive month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.81 million. Sales were down 5.9% from June and 20.2% from one year ago.

  • The median existing-home sales price climbed 10.8% from one year ago to $403,800. That's down $10,000, however, from last month's record high of $413,800.

  • The inventory of unsold existing homes rose to 1.31 million by the end of July, or the equivalent of 3.3 months at the current monthly sales pace.

WASHINGTON (August 18, 2022) – Existing-home sales sagged for the sixth straight month in July, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. All four major U.S. regions recorded month-over-month and year-over-year sales declines.

Total existing-home sales,1, completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, slipped 5.9% from June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.81 million in July. Year-over-year, sales fell 20.2% (6.03 million in July 2021).

"The ongoing sales decline reflects the impact of the mortgage rate peak of 6% in early June," said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. "Home sales may soon stabilize since mortgage rates have fallen to near 5%, thereby giving an additional boost of purchasing power to home buyers."

Total housing inventory2 registered at the end of July was 1,310,000 units, an increase of 4.8% from June and unchanged from the previous year. Unsold inventory sits at a 3.3-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 2.9 months in June and 2.6 months in July 2021.

The median existing-home price3 for all housing types in July was $403,800, up 10.8% from July 2021 ($364,600), as prices increased in all regions. This marks 125 consecutive months of year-over-year increases, the longest-running streak on record.

"We're witnessing a housing recession in terms of declining home sales and home building," Yun added. "However, it's not a recession in home prices. Inventory remains tight and prices continue to rise nationally with nearly 40% of homes still commanding the full list price."

Properties typically remained on the market for 14 days in July, the same as in June and down from 17 days in July 2021. The 14 days on market are the fewest since NAR began tracking it in May 2011. Eighty-two percent of homes sold in July 2022 were on the market for less than a month.

First-time buyers were responsible for 29% of sales in July, down from 30% in June and also in July 2021. NAR's 2021 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers – released in late 20214 – reported that the annual share of first-time buyers was 34%.

All-cash sales accounted for 24% of transactions in July, down from 25% in June, but up from 23% in July 2021.

Individual investors or second-home buyers, who make up many cash sales, purchased 14% of homes in July, down from 16% in June and 15% in July 2021.

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Homeowners are spending more money to spruce up their bathrooms as the pandemic-fueled home renovation boom continues. The national median spend for bathroom renovations jumped nearly 13% year over year to $9,000, according to the 2022 U.S. Houzz Bathroom Trends Study, a survey of more than 2,500 homeowners who are planning or recently completed a bathroom renovation.

“Bathrooms have always been a top room to renovate, and we’re seeing that homeowners—driven both by aesthetic desires and functional necessities—are doubling down on their investment in these private sanctuaries,” says Marine Sargsyan, a staff economist at Houzz, a home improvement website.

“While the cost of products and materials has increased due to inflation and supply chain disruptions, renovation activity remains strong, propped up by high home equity and homeowners’ desire to stay put given limited housing supply.”

Homeowners who viewed their bathrooms as “outdated” were most likely to renovate them. The Houzz study uncovered some of the following trends in bathroom remodeling this year:

  1. The statement vanity: More than three-quarters of homeowners surveyed upgraded their vanity cabinets during a bathroom renovation. “Homeowners are turning vanities into a focal point as one of the few areas of the bathroom to offer a splash of color,” the survey notes. Three in 10 homeowners chose wood or gray, followed by blue (14%), black (5%) and green (2%). Also, with vanity upgrades, engineered quartz was a top choice as a countertop material (40%), followed by natural stones like quartzite (19%), marble (18%) and granite (16%). As for door styles, shaker continues to dominate, followed by flat- and raised-panel doors. Bar pulls are the most popular vanity door handles.

  2. Upgrading home systems: More homeowners are updating behind-the-scenes items in their bathroom remodel. For example, 59% of homeowners said they upgraded their ventilation system when renovating their bathroom; 14% upgraded to radiant heating; and 9% added a tankless water heater. “The increase in upgrades to home systems can add up to some of the highest costs but remains one of the most frequent enhancements to the bathroom this year,” the report notes.

  3. All about the transitional: Nearly nine in 10 homeowners surveyed chose to change their bathroom’s style during a renovation. Transitional style has taken a significant lead, followed by modern and contemporary. Transitional styles offer a combination of traditional and modern elements, combining modern fixtures with antiques, for example.

4.White still dominates: White continues to be the most popular color for bathrooms across vanities, countertops and walls. Gray walls are popular both outside and inside the shower, but blue is also gaining traction. One in 10 homeowners selected blue walls outside the shower, the report notes. “Upgraded bathroom elements are gravitating towards solid colors, as multicolored countertops and shower walls have decreased in popularity among homeowners,” according to the Houzz report.

5.Showers remain a priority: When tackling bathroom renovations, homeowners continue to prioritize the shower as a focal point. Increasing the shower size is the second-most popular bathroom upgrade. For homeowners who remove the bathtub, nearly four in five opt to enlarge the shower, making it at least 25% bigger. More homeowners are relocating their showers after having a bathtub removed.

6.Greenery everywhere: More homeowners are adding greenery when renovating their bathrooms. “The overwhelming majority say it adds to the aesthetics of the room, while a smaller majority believe it creates a calming environment,” the report notes. “Practical benefits are also noted among renovating homeowners, including air purification, odor-fighting ability and antibacterial attributes.”

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