Missouri home sales rise in May despite low inventory

Missouri saw more than 8,200 residential properties sold in May, up 27.2% from last year, according to a Missouri Realtors report released Monday.

The median sale price was up as well, to $220,000 — an increase of 4.7% from April and 20.8% over last May.

Houses spent less time on the market in May. On average, Missouri homes sold in 28 days, down from 33 in April and 49 last May.

A national look

The Midwest was the only region to see higher existing home sales in May than in April, according to a National Association of Realtors report published Tuesday. The same was true of last month.

Existing home sales decreased overall in May, which indicates a return to a pre-pandemic market, Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, said in the report.

“Lack of inventory continues to be the overwhelming factor holding back home sales,” Yun said, “But falling affordability is simply squeezing some first-time buyers out of the market.”

On average, existing homes in the U.S. sold in 17 days, and 89% of homes sold in May were on the market for less than a month before finding a new owner.

Numbers like those don’t necessarily indicate a buyer’s market, but it’s not impossible to find a home, according to Tony Conant, president of the Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors.

“I don’t think it’s a bad time to buy right now,” Conant said. “I mean, interest rates are still historically low.”

Labor and lumber low

The Midwest stood still in new home sales this May, and low inventory around the country has been a sucker punch for prospective buyers.

“It’s kind of a conundrum, right?” Conant said. “How are we gonna sell more homes than ever when inventory is so low?”

He also said builders have told him that “getting and keeping good workers is harder than ever,” meaning building a home may cost more and take longer.

But Conant said it’s not as bad as it seems, and falling lumber prices might indicate a light at the end of the tunnel.

“I’m much more comfortable,” he said. “I like seeing that they’re coming down.”


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