Monthly Home Sales In Millions | Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate
Sales of new and existing homes fell in May as the homebuyers’ tax credit expired at the end of April. New home sales came in at a startlingly low annualized rate of 300,000, the lowest rate since the Census Bureau began tracking this statistic in 1963, while existing home sales slipped to an annualized rate of 5.66 million. Ongoing weakness in the for-sale housing market appears to be supporting demand for rental units. Reis reports that multifamily vacancy rates in larger, professionally managed projects ended the first quarter at 8.0 percent, unchanged from the fourth quarter of 2009. This makes multifamily the first of the major property types to see leasing market conditions stabilize. For all rental housing units, the Census Bureau reports a first quarter vacancy rate of 10.6 percent, down from 11.1 percent in the third quarter of 2009, which was the highest rate since the data series was initiated in 1956. Demand for housing depends heavily on the return of job growth, which would improve the outlook for both rental and for-sale housing.