Total existing-home sales continued to rise precipitously in August, soaring past last year’s total for the greatest number of sales since 2006, according to data released Tuesday by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Existing-home sales — which includes single-family homes, townhomes, condos and co-ops — rose 2.4 percent month over month and 10.5 percent year over year in August.
“Home sales continue to amaze, and there are plenty of buyers in the pipeline ready to enter the market,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement. “Further gains in sales are likely for the remainder of the year, with mortgage rates hovering around 3 percent and with continued job recovery.”
Home sales are continuing their steep climb even in the face of rising prices. The median existing-home price for all housing types came in at $310,600 in August, an increase of 11.4 percent year over year and the 102 straight month of annual gains.
Inventory continues to be historically low, which is being exacerbated even more by a recent surge in lumber costs, according to Yun. At the end of the month, there was a three-month supply of inventory at the current sales pace, down 0.7 percent from July and 18.6 percent from the year prior.
“Over recent months, we have seen lumber prices surge dramatically,” Yun said. “This has already led to an increase in the cost of multifamily housing and an even higher increase for single-family homes.”
Regionally, home sales have climbed month-over-month for three straight months in every region tracked by NAR. The median home price also grew at double-digit rates in all four regions, compared to last year.
The lower end of the market isn’t seeing the boom in sales reserved for homes valued at more than $250,000. Homes in the $100,000 to $250,000 range, dropped 8.9 percent, while homes selling for less than $100,000 dropped 20.5 percent, year over year.
Combined, homes under $250,000 made up 39 percent of sales, in August.