June's existing-home sales take a step back

June's existing home sales hit a setback in an otherwise forward-moving trajectory, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Total existing-home sales took a dip of 1.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.08 million, down from 5.14 million in May.

Despite the lag, June's figures remain above year-ago levels by a margin of 15.2%. June also marks the seventh straight month of gains in median prices, and the national median existing-home price was $214,200, up 13.5% from June 2012.

Total housing inventory went up 1.9% to 2.19 million available homes for sale, extending May's supply figures to 5.2 months. This is below last year's inventory of 6.4 months. 

“Affordability conditions remain favorable in most of the country, and we’re still dealing with a large pent-up demand,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. “However, higher mortgage interest rates will bite into high-cost regions of California, Hawaii and the New York City metro area market.”

NAR president Gary Thomas also remarked that rising values paint an optimistic picture for homeowners, some of whom are now ready to buy another home after going underwater with their mortgages.