A total of more than 1.3 million single-family homes and condos sold in the US during the first half of 2015, the highest activity seen in any first half since 2007. This uptick in sales volume appears to be pushing pricing, as the U.S. median home price reached a seven-year high of $189,500 in July, according to a RealtyTrac U.S. Home Sales Report.

Takeaways:

  • 65 percent of markets analyzed achieved eight-year, first-half highs in terms of sales volume.
  • Ten major metros reached eight-year sales volume highs.
  • All-cash sales are still up in a number of markets, despite an overall decline in cash deals nationally.

A total of more than 1.3 million single-family homes and condos sold in the U.S. during the first half of 2015, the highest activity seen in any first half since 2007.

This uptick in sales volume appears to be pushing pricing, as the U.S. median home price reached a seven-year high of $189,500 in July, according to a RealtyTrac U.S. Home Sales Report.

“Housing is successfully transitioning from an investor-driven recovery to one that is drawing in traditional buyers,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.

Of those markets, 26 reached a 10-year high for first-half activity.

Four markets reached an all-time high for sales volume in the first half of the year:

  • The Villages, Florida
  • Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Pittsburgh
  • Denver

Ten major metros saw eight-year highs in first-half sales activity. The Los Angeles metro topped the list in terms of total sales with 46,590. Phoenix and Chicago followed, accounting for 45,555 sales and 43,099 closings, respectively. Dallas saw 34,392 transactions close during the first half.

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Houston, Denver, Detroit, Seattle, Tampa and Southern California’s Inland Empire also accounted for 25,126 sales to 26,643 first-half sales.

At $189,500, the U.S. median sales price increased 2 percent from a year ago.

Out of 161 markets analyzed, 10 metros reached new home price peaks in July:

  • Denver
  • San Jose
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Nashville
  • Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Omaha, Nebraska
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Madison, Wisconsin
  • Boulder, Colorado
  • Burlington, Vermont

The median sales price amongst these metros varies widely. In Columbus, Ohio, homes sold for a median price of $155,000, while in San Jose this figure stood at $822,000.

RealtyTrac also reported that all-cash buyers accounted for 22.6 percent of all single-family and condo sales in July, to the lowest percentage of cash sales since July 2008.

Cash sales remain most prominent in Florida, accounting for roughly 50 percent of all transactions in nine metros.

Major metros with a high percentage of cash sales in July included:

  • New York City (43.2 percent)
  • Orlando (37.6 percent)
  • Tampa (35.3 percent)
  • Las Vegas (32.6 percent)
  • Rochester, New York (32.6 percent)
  • Detroit (31.9 percent)

Counter to the national trend, the share of cash sales increased from a year ago in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Denver and San Jose.

The dependence on cash buyers in some markets is one crack in the foundation of the housing recovery, according to Blomquist.

Finally, properties sold while in the foreclosure process accounted for 6.4 percent of all single-family sales in July — the lowest share since January 2000.

Email Erik Pisor.

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