Existing-home sales are on the upswing following three consecutive months of month-over-month and year-over-year declines, according to the National Association of Realtors’ latest market report released Wednesday.
Total existing-home sales, which include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 20.7 percent from May to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 4.72 million units. However, annual sales growth remains stunted with an 11.3 percent decline from June 2019.
“The sales recovery is strong, as buyers were eager to purchase homes and properties that they had been eyeing during the shutdown,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a prepared statement. “This revitalization looks to be sustainable for many months ahead as long as mortgage rates remain low and job gains continue.”
Although the sales pace has been on a rollercoaster, median existing-home prices continued their ascent for the 100th-consecutive month, or since 2012. The median home price for all housing types increased 3.5 percent year-over-year to $295,300. Housing inventory also experienced a 1.3 percent month-over-month boost to 1.57 million units, but is still 18.2 percent below last year.
“Home prices rose during the lockdown and could rise even further due to heavy buyer competition and a significant shortage of supply,” Yun added.
Looking forward, Keller Williams Chief Economist Ruben Gonzalez told Inman the housing market’s ability to recover is inextricably linked to the nation’s economy and pandemic response.
“The path of the housing market in the near term is going to be closely linked to how the economy progresses,” Gonzalez said in an emailed statement to Inman. “With unemployment supplements expiring and most PPP loans having run their course, we need an appropriate follow-up to the CARES Act.”
“This means extending aid programs and continuing to fund increased testing, as well as addressing the challenges faced by state and local governments,” he added. “Keeping workers attached to jobs, current on rent and mortgages, and focusing aid on those who are most likely to spend should continue to be priorities.”