Existing home sales in the U.S. continued to soar in the month of July, the National Association of Realtors revealed in a report released on Friday.
NAR said existing home sales skyrocketed by a record 24.7 percent to an annual rate of 5.86 million in July after spiking by 20.2 percent to a revised rate of 4.70 million in June.
Economists had expected existing home sales to jump by 14.0 percent to an annual rate of 5.38 million from the 4.72 million originally reported for the previous month.
With the continued surge, existing home sales in July were up by 8.7 percent compared to the same month a year ago.
“The housing market is well past the recovery phase and is now booming with higher home sales compared to the pre-pandemic days,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.
He added, “With the sizable shift in remote work, current homeowners are looking for larger homes and this will lead to a secondary level of demand even into 2021.”
The report said the median existing home price was $304,100 in July, up 3.3 percent from $294,500 in June and up 8.5 percent from $280,400 a year ago. NAR noted this is the first time the national median home price breached the $300,000 level.
NAR also said total housing inventory fell by 2.6 percent to 1.50 million units at the end of July from 1.54 million units at the end of June and is down 21.1 percent year-over-year.
The unsold inventory represents 3.1 months of supply at the current sales rate, down from 3.9 months in June and 4.2 months in July of 2019.
“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.”
The report also said single-family homes sales spiked by 23.9 percent to an annual rate of 5.28 million in July, while existing condominium and co-op sales soared by 31.8 percent to a rate of 580,000.
Next Tuesday, the Commerce Department is scheduled to release its report on new home sales in the month of July.
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