After decreasing for three consecutive months due to the COVID-19 crisis, existing-home sales rebounded in June, rising 20.7% compared with May to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 4.72 million, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
However, sales were still down 11.3% on a year-over-year basis.
Regionally, and month-over-month, sales increased 31.9% in the West, 26% in the South, 11.1% in the Midwest and 4.3% in the Northeast.
“The sales recovery is strong, as buyers were eager to purchase homes and properties that they had been eyeing during the shutdown,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR, in a statement. “This revitalization looks to be sustainable for many months ahead, as long as mortgage rates remain low and job gains continue.”
The median existing-home price for all housing types in June was $295,300, up 3.5% from $285,400 in June 2019.
Total housing inventory at the end of June totaled 1.57 million units, up 1.3% from May, but still down 18.2% from one year ago.
That’s about a 4.0-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 4.8 months in May.
Low inventory continues to persist and is leading to increased home prices. During the past several months, the COVID-19 crisis resulted in many homeowners sheltering-in-place, significantly reducing sales of existing homes, and also resulting in delays in new home construction.
“Home prices rose during the lockdown and could rise even further due to heavy buyer competition and a significant shortage of supply,” Yun says.
Properties typically remained on the market for 24 days in June, seasonally down from 26 days in May, and down from 27 days in June 2019.
Sixty-two percent of homes sold in June 2020 were on the market for less than a month.
First-time buyers were responsible for 35% of sales in June, up from 34% in May.