Existing-Home Sales Rise in July

Existing-home sales rose 2.0% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.99 million, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Sales rose year-over-year, up 1.5% from July 2020. First-time buyers were responsible for 30% of sales in July, down from 31% in June and 34% in July 2020.

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, states that inventory is increasing, which will decrease the intensity of multiple offers. He further noted that much of new home sales growth is in the upper-end markets, while mid-to lower-tier areas aren’t seeing the same growth because of the small number of available starter homes. “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.

The total housing inventory in July was 1.32 million units, up 7.3% from June’s inventory and down 12% from one year ago (1.50 million). The median home price was $359,900, up 17.8% from July 2020 ($305,600), as prices rose in every region. This marks 113 straight months of year-over-year gains.

Distressed sales represented less than 1% of sales in July, equal to the previous month’s percentage and equal to July 2020.

Read the NAR release.