Homebuyers in the U.S. continued to snap up properties at a swift pace last month in a historically low mortgage rate environment. As a result, home sales reached a nearly 14-year high in August, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said in a report Tuesday.

The number of existing-home sales, including single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops that are not newly constructed, increased 10.5% year-over-year to a seasonally adjusted 6 million in August, the highest level since December 2006, according to the NAR report.

August also marked the third straight month that home sales trended upward. Compared to July, the total sales rose 2.4%.

“Home sales continue to amaze, and there are plenty of buyers in the pipeline ready to enter the market,” Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said in the report. “Further gains in sales are likely for the remainder of the year, with mortgage rates hovering around 3% and with continued job recovery.”

A typical home found a buyer in 22 days after it hit the market in August, compared to 31 days in the same period of last year. Nearly 69% of homes sold in August 2020 were on the market for less than a month, according to the report.

While demand remains strong, the housing market has been constrained by a supply shortage. At the end of August, total housing inventory stood at 1.49 million units, down 18.6% from one year ago, and a decline of 0.7% from July, according to the report.

The imbalance between demand and supply pushed sales prices up nationwide. The median existing-home price for all housing types was $310,600 in August, increasing 11.4% from a year ago and marking 102 straight months of year-over-year price gains.

In August, single-family home sales climbed 11% year-over-year to a seasonally adjusted 5.37 million, while the median single-family price rose 11.7% from August 2019 to $315,000.

For single-family homes, the upper end outperformed the rest of the market in August. Across the country, the number of sales priced above $1 million increased 44% year-over-year. However, this segment only accounted for 4.1% of all the sales. Homes priced between $250,000 and $500,000 had the largest market share, at 41.2%, according to the report.

Existing condominium and co-op sales increased 6.8% combined year-over-year to a seasonally adjusted 630,000 units in August. The median existing condo price was $273,300, up 7.8% from a year ago.

Additionally, home sales rose across all the four major regions—Northeast, Midwest, South and West—in August compared to the previous month. The South saw the largest increase in the number of sales and the median sale price.

U.S. Existing-Home Sales in August
Region # of sales Y-o-Y change Median price Y-o-Y change
Northeast 740,000 +5.7% $349,500 +10.4%
Midwest 1.41 million +9.3% $246,300 +10.7%
South 2.6 million +13% $269,200 +12.3%
West 1.25 million +9.6% $456,100 +11.8%
Nationwide 6 million +10.5% $310,600 +11.4%
Source: National Association of Realtors


?