US home sales hit 14-year high

Existing home sales jumped in August from the previous year

National /
Sep.September 23, 2020 02:18 PM
Sales of existing homes in the U.S. hit a 14-year high last month, according to a new report. (iStock)

Sales of existing homes in the U.S. hit a 14-year high last month, according to a new report. (iStock)

The pandemic may have slowed real estate deals at the start of the year, but six months in, home sales have surged.

Sales for existing homes reached a 14-year high in August, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors. Those sales — which include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops — rose 10.5 percent from August 2019 to a seasonally adjusted rate of 6 million homes per year.

Incentivized by record-low mortgage rates, Americans have rushed to buy new and existing real estate. This week, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported a 25 percent year-over-year increase in the weekly volume of purchase loan applications it tracks.

“Further gains in sales are likely for the remainder of the year, with mortgage rates hovering around 3 percent and with continued job recovery,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.

But the housing market could face headwinds in December when the federal eviction moratorium ends, leading to a number of homes being foreclosed upon.

There’s also the issue of supply and demand: Builders are struggling to keep up with potential buyers’ interest in new and existing homes. Meanwhile, total housing inventory at the end of August was 1.49 million units, down 18.6 percent from one year ago.

“Housing demand is robust but supply is not, and this imbalance will inevitably harm affordability and hinder ownership opportunities,” Yun said in a statement.

Prices are already going up. Last month, the median existing home price rose 11.4 percent to $310,600, up from $278,800 in August 2019, according to NAR.

That trend was seen at a regional level, too: In the Northeast, existing median sales jumped 13.8 percent to an annual rate of 740,000, a 5.7 percent increase from a year ago.

The median home price in the Northeast was $349,500, up 10.4 percent from August 2019.

Because lenders are not able to file foreclosures, there have so far been few distressed deals.
Distressed sales, or foreclosures and short sales, represented less than 1 percent of sales in August, down from 2 percent at the same time last year.





    Related Articles

    arrow_forward_ios
    Single-family rentals are increasingly seen as a more realistic alternative to ownership, given the hot housing market and income inequality. (iStock)
    Single-family rentals soaring in hot housing market
    Single-family rentals soaring in hot housing market
    Investors home purchases rose to 15 percent in the second quarter, a year-over-year increase of 3.9 percentage points. (iStock)
    Investors take bigger bite of US housing, and pay less
    Investors take bigger bite of US housing, and pay less
    Existing home sales were on the upswing in September following a slight dip in August. (iStock)
    Existing home sales rebound in September, rising by 7%
    Existing home sales rebound in September, rising by 7%
    The Princeton Club flag in front of 15 West 43rd Street (Google Maps)
    Paper Tigers: Princeton Club defaults on $39M mortgage, may lose digs
    Paper Tigers: Princeton Club defaults on $39M mortgage, may lose digs
    Judge trashes 421a rent overcharge suit against Muss
    Judge trashes 421a rent overcharge suit against Muss
    Judge trashes 421a rent overcharge suit against Muss
    Low interest rates and the capability for some to work from home is helping fuel the market for vacation homes, a new survey indicates. (iStock)
    Pandemic continues to fuel demand for second, third homes
    Pandemic continues to fuel demand for second, third homes
    15 Farm Springs Road, Farmington, CT and The Boulevard in Yaphank, LI
(Google Maps, TheBoulevardNY.com)
    Connecticut, Long Island projects show how pandemic has changed real estate
    Connecticut, Long Island projects show how pandemic has changed real estate
    Hudson Valley housing market remains hot in Q3
    Hudson Valley housing market remains hot in Q3
    Hudson Valley housing market remains hot in Q3
    arrow_forward_ios

    The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

    Loading...