Existing home sales increased significantly in July, with the median price maintaining double-digit year-over-year increases, the National Association of Realtors reported Aug. 21.
Total existing home sales, comprised of completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, were up 6.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million in July from a downwardly revised 5.06 million in June, and 17.2 percent higher than at the same time last year.
“Mortgage interest rates are at the highest level in two years, pushing some buyers off the sidelines,” Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said in a news release. “The initial rise in interest rates provided strong incentive for closing deals. However, further rate increases will diminish the pool of eligible buyers.”
Total housing inventory at the end of July increased 5.6 percent to 2.28 million existing homes available for sale, a 5.1-month supply at the current sales pace and on par with June. However, listed inventory is down 5 percent from a year ago when a 6.3-month supply existed.
“Tight inventory in many areas means above-normal price growth for the foreseeable future,” Yun said.
NAR reported that the national median existing-home price for all housing types was $213,500 in July, an increase of 13.7 percent from a year prior. The median price has risen at double-digit rates for the last eight months and is 7.3 percent below the all-time record of $230,400 in July 2006.
Read the NAR news release.