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Existing-Home Sales: August Reaches Highest Level Since December 2006

Highest Level Existing Home Sales.jpgExisting-home sales in August continued to climb, reaching an all-time high since December 2006 and marking three consecutive months of positive sales gains, according to the National Association of REALTOR® (NAR).

In August, total existing-home sales increased 2.4 percent from July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.00 million. Year-over-year, sales increased 10.5 percent. Single-family existing-home sales increased 1.7 percent from 5.28 million in July, and by 11 percent from last year—now at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.37 million. Existing condo and co-op sales increased 8.6 percent from July and 6.8 percent from one year ago—now at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 630,000 units.

By Region: Midwest Existing-Home Sales: 1.4 million (+9.3%YoY) Median Price: $246,300 (+10.7%YoY)

Northeast Existing-Home Sales: 740,000 (+5.7% YoY) Median Price: $349,500 (+10.4% YoY)

South Existing-Home Sales: 2.60 million (+13.0% YoY) Median Price: $269,200 (+12.3%YoY)

West Existing-Home Sales: 1.25 million (+9.6% YoY) Median Price: $456,100 (+11.8% YoY)

How the Industry Is Responding:

“Home sales continue to amaze, and there are plenty of buyers in the pipeline ready to enter the market. Further gains in sales are likely for the remainder of the year, with mortgage rates hovering around 3 percent and with continued job recovery. Over recent months, we have seen lumber prices surge dramatically. This has already led to an increase in the cost of multifamily housing and an even higher increase for single-family homes. Housing demand is robust, but supply is not, and this imbalance will inevitably harm affordability and hinder ownership opportunities. To assure broad gains in homeownership, more new homes need to be constructed.” — Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist, NAR

“The past few months have shown how valuable real estate is in the country, both to our nation’s economy and to individuals who have been given an opportunity to rethink their location and redesign their lifestyle. NAR maintains robust advocacy efforts on behalf of our 1.4 million REALTORS®—including hundreds of thousands of housing providers—to ensure this industry can continue to lead in America’s economic recovery.” — Vince Malta, President, NAR

“Today’s report is confirmation the housing market is a rare bright spot in our pandemic economy, especially when looking at the previous historic increases in June and July, as well as the massive year-over-year growth. During this period of heighted levels of unemployment, those who have job security are jumping at their opportunity to buy a home with mortgage rates near record lows, locking in that lower monthly payment for decades to come.” — Bill Banfield, Executive Vice President of Capital Markets, Quicken Loans

“The August increase in existing-home sales was further confirmation of the housing market’s V-shaped recovery and overall strength in demand. The annualized pace of sales hit the 6-million mark for the first time since 2006, as transactions delayed by the pandemic continued to catch up. August was the second consecutive month of strong year-over-year sales gains, which is noteworthy considering the declines from April through June, and sales being down 31 percent in May. Last month’s strong sales activity was consistent with MBA’s purchase applications data, which has risen annually for four straight months.

“It is concerning that housing inventory continued to decline last month and was over 18 percent lower than in 2019. This lack of supply continues to push home-price growth higher. The 11 percent gain in prices is far above income growth and threatens overall affordability—especially for first-time buyers. Homebuilders continue to face constraints, including higher production costs. However, it’s clear that more inventory is needed to keep home prices from rising too quickly.” — Joel Kan, AVP of Economic and Industry Forecasting, Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) 


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