Existing Home Sales Rise in June As Prices Jump 23%, NAR Says
Sales of existing homes rose 1.4% in June and prices surged at a near-record pace as an uptick in the number of properties for sale helped Americans’ homebuying plans.
Combined sales of single-family houses, townhomes, condominiums and cooperatively owned apartments grew to 5.86 million at a seasonally adjusted and annualized pace, following four consecutive months of declines, according to the National Association of Realtors report. Compared to a year ago, in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, June’s sales were 22.9% higher.
The median existing-home price was $363,300 in June, up 23% from a year earlier, and prices rose in every region of the U.S., NAR said. In May, the median price was a record 24% higher than a year ago.
The jump in prices has drawn more sellers into the market, said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.
“Supply has modestly improved in recent months due to more housing starts and existing homeowners listing their homes, all of which has resulted in an uptick in sales,” Yun said. “Home sales continue to run at a pace above the rate seen before the pandemic.
The number of properties on the market at the end of June totaled 1.25 million, up by 3.3% from May, the report said. Unsold inventory measured as a “months supply” number that gauges how long it would take to sell all the homes if nothing else came on the market, was 2.6 months, NAR said. That’s up from 2.5 months in May, but a decline from 3.9 months in June 2020.
The share of all-cash sales was 23% of all purchases in June, which was flat with May, but a 16% increase from June 2020. Some home buyers have seen their personal wealth rise during the global pandemic as home values increased and the stock market surged to record levels, Yun said.
“Huge wealth gains from both housing equity and the stock market have nudged up all-cash transactions, but first-time buyers who need mortgage financing are being uniquely challenged with record-high home prices and low inventory,” he said. “Although rates are favorably low, these hurdles have been overwhelming to some potential buyers.”
Mortgage rates near record lows have boosted demand. The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage is 2.78% this week, the lowest since mid-February, Freddie Mac said in a separate report on Thursday.
Ellen Chang is a Houston-based freelance journalist who writes articles for U.S. News & World Report. Chang previously covered investing, retirement and personal finance for TheStreet. She focuses her articles on stocks, personal finance, energy and cybersecurity. Her byline has appeared in national business publications, including USA Today, CBS News, Yahoo Finance MSN Money, Bankrate, Kiplinger and Fox Business. Follow her on Twitter at @ellenychang and Instagram at @ellenyinchang.