US existing home sales notched another record monthly jump as the housing market recovery from the coronavirus pandemic continues, fueled by low mortgage rates and pent-up demand.
Completed transactions of existing homes jumped a record 24.7% in July to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.86 million, according to a Friday report from the National Association of Realtors. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had forecast a jump to a 5.41 million rate.
“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, in a statement. “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.”
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The solid July report is the latest showing the sharp housing recovery, a rare part of the economy that’s seen a strong rebound from the shock of the coronavirus pandemic.
In addition, the median existing-home price was $304,100 in July, up 8.5% from a year earlier. It’s the 101st month where home prices have increased on the year, and marks the first time ever that national median home prices have exceeded $300,000.
Inventory was down slightly in July to 1.5 million units from 1.9 million a year ago, representing a 3.1-month supply of houses at the current pace of sales. The July supply number is the lowest on record.
“The number of new listings is increasing, but they are quickly taken out of the market from heavy buyer competition,” said Yun. “More homes need to be built.”
For the second month in a row, sales increased and home prices grew in each of the four key regions tracked by the NAR.