Greetings neighbors,

Existing home sales, which are defined as completed transactions on single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, seem to have remained at a pretty steady level throughout the month of May according to the National Association of Realtors.

For the month of May, existing home sales came in with a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.66 million-units. This number was down 2.2% from an upwardly revised surge of 5.79 million-units during the month of April. In addition, May 2010's closings are 19.2% above May 2009's 4.75 million-unit level. Sales were revised to show an 8.0% monthly gain in April.

As for the national median existing-home price for all housing types last month, $179,600 came in as the magic number which was up 2.7% in comparison to May 2009. Distressed homes took up 31% of sales last month which was a decrease from April's 33% which was the same as May 2009.

There was a decrease of 3.4% in total housing inventory by the end of May giving a total of 3.89 million existing homes available for purchase. This number produces an 8.3-month supply at the current sales pace. The previous month of April produced an 8.4-month supply. In addition, there was a 1.1% increase in raw unsold inventory when compared to May 2009 however this number is still 14.9% below July 2008's record of 4.58 million.

In reference to single family homes, there was a decrease of 1.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.98 million last month from April's 5.06 million. Despite the decline, this number is still up by 17.5% in comparison to last year's number of 4.24 million during May 2009. Last month, the median existing single-family home price came in at $179,400 last month which was an increase of 2.7% in comparison to last year.

As for condos and co-ops, existing sales dropped 6.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 680,000 from April's 730,000. The median existing condo price for the month of May was $181,300 which is a 3.4% increase from last year's number.