Gold price under pressure as U.S. existing home sales drop for a fourth straight month in May
(Kitco News) Gold was relatively unchanged and trading down on the day as the U.S. existing home sales dropped for the fourth month in a row in May but were still slightly better than expected.
Existing home sales dropped 0.9% last month to a seasonally adjusted and annualized rate of 5.8 million units, compared to April’s annualized rate of 5.85 million homes, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said on Tuesday.
May's decrease comes following a decline of 2.7% in April. Economists were expecting to see a drop to 5.72 million units in May.
Gold prices were largely unchanged following the data release. August Comex gold futures were last trading at $1,776.80, down 0.34% on the day.
The multi-month decline in sales was due to rising prices and a deficient supply of homes on the market.
"Home sales fell moderately in May and are now approaching pre-pandemic activity," said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist. "Lack of inventory continues to be the overwhelming factor holding back home sales, but falling affordability is simply squeezing some first-time buyers out of the market."
Overall, home sales were up 44.6% on an annual basis.
The median price for all home types rose to $350,300 after a record year-over-year increase of 23.6% in May, with every region posting a price hike. This marked the 111th straight months of year-over-year gains since March 2012.
The total inventory was at 1.23 million units, down 20.6% from last year’s total.
Inventories are expected to improve going forward, added Yun.
"The market's outlook, however, is encouraging," Yun said. "Supply is expected to improve, which will give buyers more options and help tamp down record-high asking prices for existing homes."