Pending Sales Plateau Further Signals a Slowing Housing Market

Last month’s year-over-year pending sales count showed a dip for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Though down slightly at just over one percent, this signals good news. The drop in pending contracts is due to more listings coming to the market rather than homes sales slipping. The falling number of active listings leveled off in May and then rose in June to about 11,600 which is the highest level since December of 2020.

June 2021“It’s wonderful to see Kentuckians beginning to list more homes”, said Charles Hinckley, President of Kentucky REALTORS®.  “It serves to moderate prices, reduces instances of bidding wars, and can encourage other potential sellers to enter the marketplace as well.”

Closed sales in June were up just three percent to 5,553 from one year ago (5,392). The year-to-date closings figure surged to 26,984. This is a 13% increase from June of 2020 when the COVID affected count sat at 23,845.

Nationally, total existing-home sales, completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, grew 1.4% from May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.86 million in June. Sales climbed year-over-year, up 22.9% from a year ago (4.77 million in June 2020).

“Supply has modestly improved in recent months due to more housing starts and existing homeowners listing their homes, all of which has resulted in an uptick in sales,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Home sales continue to run at a pace above the rate seen before the pandemic.” The median sale price of homes in Kentucky for April was up about ten percent, to $205,000. Year-to-date, Kentucky’s median sale price is up almost twelve percent at $198,000.

June 2021 YTDWhen the market is fueled by high buyer demand coupled with low inventory, historically low interest rates have a limited effect on real estate prices and what consumers can ultimately afford. Kentucky REALTORS® C.E.O. Steve Stevens says that this trajectory is finally easing some concerns. “Many Kentuckians have had to sit this market out since prices surged so quickly over the past 12 months”, he said. “I think we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel here and folks who have been saving up should soon have both the inventory to choose from and a price tag they can afford.”

June’s sales volume spiked to $1.4 billion, up 20% from $1.2 billion just one year ago. The median sale price rose almost 17%, from $192,000 to $224,000. Year-to-date, the median home sales price is up about 14% to just over $206,000.