After rising 20.7% in June compared with May, existing-home sales surged again in July, rising 24.7% compared with June to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.86 million, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
What’s more, existing-home sales in July were up 8.7% compared with July 2019.
Regionally, and month-over-month, existing-home sales increased 30.6% in the Northeast, 30.5% in the West, 27.5% in the Midwest and 19.4% in the South.
Year-over-year, existing-home sales increased in all four regions except for the Northeast.
“The housing market is well past the recovery phase and is now booming with higher home sales compared to the pre-pandemic days,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR, in a statement. “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 median existing-home price for all housing types in July was $304,100, up 8.5% from $280,400 in July 2019.
July’s national price increase marks 101 straight months of year-over-year gains. For the first time ever, national median home prices breached the $300,000 level.
Total housing inventory at the end of July totaled 1.5 million units, a decrease of 2.6% compared with June and down 21.1% compared with July 2019.
That’s about a 3.1-month supply at the current sales pace.
Yun notes these dire inventory totals have a substantial effect on sales.
“The number of new listings is increasing, but they are quickly taken out of the market from heavy buyer competition,” he says. “More homes need to be built.”
Properties typically remained on the market for 22 days in July, seasonally down from 24 days in June and from 29 days in July 2019.
Sixty-eight percent of homes sold in July were on the market for less than a month.