Total existing-home sales (completed transactions on single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops) were down 1.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.55 million in May 2012 from 4.62 million in April. May 2012 was, however, 9.6% above the 4.15 million-unit pace in May 2011, according to the National Association of Realtors.
NAR said limited supplies of housing inventory held back sales of existing homes in May 2012, but the association noted home prices were on a "sustained uptrend" in all regions of the United States.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, pointed out that inventory shortages in some areas have been developing all year. "The slight pullback in monthly home sales is more likely due to supply constraints rather than softening demand. The normal seasonal upturn in inventory did not occur this spring," he said. "Even with the monthly decline, home sales have moved markedly higher with 11 consecutive months of gains over the same month a year earlier."
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