Aug 22, 2020 - Economy

Existing U.S. home sales reached another record high last month

A man stands in the doorway to his house

In July, Anil Lilly tours his new home, in Washingtonville, N.Y. Photo: John Minchillo/AP

Existing-home sales jumped by 24.7% in July, the National Association of Realtors reported Saturday.

Why it matters: July's surge beats last month's record as the largest recorded monthly increase in previously owned home sales since 1968, when NAR began collecting data.

What they're saying: “The housing market is well past the recovery phase and is now booming with higher home sales compared to the pre-pandemic days,” Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said in a press release.

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

Details: The national median home price breached $300,000 for the first time in July, NAR said, and total housing inventory has decreased 2.6% since June.

  • Sales jumped in all regions, but saw the most dramatic increase in the Northeast and the West.

What to watch, per the Wall Street Journal: "Buyers are ready to move farther from cities, now that many workers aren’t commuting every day."

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