US home sales fall 1.7% with prices high and supply low

Associated Press |

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home sales tumbled 1.7% in June, with rising prices and a scarce supply locking out many Americans from ownership.

The National Association of Realtors says homes were sold last month at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 5.27 million units. Sales have shriveled 2.2% over the past 12 months, despite such positive trends as a robust job market and falling mortgage rates.

But home prices have been climbing faster than incomes for the past seven years. This persistent gap has left many renters unable to afford ownership and prevented existing owners from upgrading to pricier properties. There has also been a supply shortage: Sales listings were flat over the past year at 1.93 million units.

The median sales price climbed 4.3% from a year ago to $285,700.

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