It’s never been more expensive to buy a home in the US

Median home price cost $300K for the first time

The U.S. housing market sets new record for home sales and prices in July 2020. (iStock)
The U.S. housing market sets new record for home sales and prices in July 2020. (iStock)

The U.S. housing market is setting records despite a pandemic.

The number of existing home sales across the country grew by 24.7 percent to 5.86 million last month compared to the 4.72 million homes sold in June, according to a new report from the National Association of Realtors.

Last month’s sales set a new record in month-over-month growth and represents the 101st consecutive month of reported gains. The NAR report tracks sales of all existing homes across asset types — condos, co-ops, townhouses and single-family homes are all included.

July also saw the first time the median home price exceeded $300,000. The median price last month was $304,100, up 8.5 percent year-over-year from $280,400. In June, the median price was $295,300.

“The housing market is well past the recovery phase and is now booming with higher home sales compared to the pre-pandemic days,” Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said in a statement.

Read more

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

Yun attributed the changes to homebuyers now working from home looking for larger homes, adding that he expects the trend to continue into 2021.

Total housing inventory dropped to 1.5 million last month, down 2.6 percent from 1.57 million in June.

Just over two-thirds of homes sold last month were on the market for under a month and all-cash deals accounted for 16 percent of sales. Distressed sales represented less than 1 percent of July transactions.

“The number of new listings is increasing, but they are quickly taken out of the market from heavy buyer competition,” Yun said. “More homes need to be built.”

Homebuilders are heeding the call. Last month, housing starts grew by 22.6 percent month-over-month, driving up lumber prices.

Mortgage rates hit record lows last month. The average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage in July was 3.02 percent, according to Freddie Mac.

Write to Erin Hudson at