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08/23/2021

Existing-home sales climb in July

Median prices have been on the rise for 113 consecutive months.
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A snapshot of July existing-home sales results from the National Association of Realtors.

Existing-home sales increased in July, the National Association of Realtors reported.

The latest report marks two consecutive months of increases.

Total existing-home sales, including completed transactions of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, grew 2% from June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.99 million in July.

Sales inched up year-over-year, increasing 1.5% from a year ago (5.90 million in July 2020).

Single-family home sales increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.28 million in July, up 2.7% from 5.14 million in June and down 0.8% from one year ago. The median existing single-family home price was $367,000 in July, up 18.6% from July 2020.

Existing condominium and co-op sales were recorded at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 710,000 units in July, down from 730,000 in June and up 22.4% from one year ago. The median existing condo price was $307,100 in July, an annual increase of 14.1%.

The median existing-home price for all housing types in July was $359,900, up 17.8% from July 2020 ($305,600). This marks 113 straight months of year-over-year gains.

“We see inventory beginning to tick up, which will lessen the intensity of multiple offers,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Much of the home sales growth is still occurring in the upper-end markets, while the mid-to lower-tier areas aren’t seeing as much growth because there are still too few starter homes available.”

Total housing inventory at the end of July totaled 1.32 million units, up 7.3% from June’s supply and down 12% from one year ago (1.50 million). 

Unsold inventory sits at a 2.6-month supply at the present sales pace, up slightly from the 2.5-month figure recorded in June but down from 3.1 months in July 2020.

“Although we shouldn’t expect to see home prices drop in the coming months, there is a chance that they will level off as inventory continues to gradually improve,” said Yun.

“In the meantime, some prospective buyers who are priced out are raising the demand for rental homes and thereby pushing up the rental rates,” he added. 

Properties typically remained on the market for 17 days in July, unchanged from June and down from 22 days in July 2020. About 89% of the homes sold in July 2021 were on the market for less than a month.

First-time buyers accounted for 30% of sales in July, down from 31% in June and down from 34% in July  

Here’s how existing-home sales break down on a regional basis:

  • Existing-home sales in the Northeast remained steady in July, registering an annual rate of 740,000 for the second straight month, a 12.1% rise from July 2020. The median price in the Northeast was $411,200, up 23.6% from one year ago.
  • Existing-home sales in the Midwest rose 3.8% to an annual rate of 1,380,000 in July, a 1.4% decline from a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $275,300, a 13.1% increase from July 2020.
  • Existing-home sales in the South rose 1.2% in July, recording an annual rate of 2,630,000, up 1.2% from the same time one year ago. The median price in the South was $305,200, a 14.4% jump from one year ago.
  • Existing-home sales in the West grew 3.3%, posting an annual rate of 1,240,000 in July, equal to the level of a year ago. The median price in the West was $508,300, up 12.5% from July 2020.