Existing-Home Sales Jump Nearly 25% In July

Existing home sales in the United States surged 24.7 percent in July, the second straight month of record-setting gains. The increase in July was the most in history – breaking June’s record of 20.7 percent.

Overall, sales were up 8.7 percent from July 2019, according to a report released Friday by the National Association of Realtors.

“The housing market is well past the recovery phase and is now booming with higher home sales compared to the pre-pandemic days,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “With the sizable shift in remote work, current homeowners are looking for larger homes and this will lead to a secondary level of demand even into 2021.”

Total housing inventory at the end of July totaled 1.5 million units, down 2.6 percent in June and 21.1 percent from one year ago (1.90 million). Yun notes these dire inventory totals have a substantial effect on sales.

“The number of new listings is increasing, but they are quickly taken out of the market from heavy buyer competition,” he said. “More homes need to be built.”

Properties typically remained on the market for 22 days in July, down from 24 days in June and 29 days in July 2019. Sixty-eight percent of homes sold in July 2020 were on the market for less than a month.

“Homebuyers’ eagerness to secure housing has helped rejuvenate our nation’s economy despite incredibly difficult circumstances,” said NAR President Vince Malta, broker at Malta & Co., Inc., in San Francisco.

For the second consecutive month, sales for July increased in every region and median home prices grew in each of the four major regions from one year ago. That includes a 30.6 percent increase in the Northeast, 30.5 percent in the West, 27.5 percent in the Midwest and 19.4 percent in the South.