Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

August 2020 Existing-Home Sales Reach Highest Level Since December 2006

NAR released a summary of existing-home sales data showing that housing market activity this August rose 2.4% from July 2020. August’s existing-home sales reached a 6.00 million seasonally adjusted annual rate. August’s sales of existing homes jumped 10.5% from August 2019.

Line graph: U.S. Existing-Home Sales August 2019 to August 2020

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $310,600 in August, up 11.4% percent from a year ago.  The median price has reached an all-time high. Home prices have continued to escalate, and this marks the 102nd consecutive month of year-over-year gains.

Bar chart: Sales Price of Existing Homes, August 2020 and August 2019

Regionally, all four regions showed double-digit price growth from a year ago. The South had the largest gain of 12.3% followed by the West with an incline of 11.8%. The Midwest showed an increase of 10.7% and the Northeast had the smallest price gain of 10.4% from August 2019.

August’s inventory figures fell 0.7% from last month standing at 1.49 million homes for sale. Compared with August of 2019, inventory levels plunged 18.6%. This would mark 15 straight months of year-over-year declines. It will take 3.2 months to move the current level of inventory at the current sales pace.

It takes approximately 22 days for a home to go from listing to a contract in the current housing market. A year ago, it took 31 days.

Bar chart: Inventory, August 2019 to August 2020

From July 2020, all of the four had gains in sales. The Northeast had the largest gain of 13.8% followed by the Midwest with an incline of 1.4%. The South and the West both had a modest increase of 0.8%.

From a year ago, all four regions showed increases in sales. The South region had the largest gain of 13.0%. The West had an increase in sales of 9.6% followed by the Midwest with a rise of 9.3%. The Northeast had the smallest gain of 5.7%.

The South led all regions in percentage of national sales, accounting for 43.3% of the total, while the Northeast had the smallest share at 12.3%.

Bar chart: Regiojnal Existing-Home Sales and Year-Over-Year Percent Change

In August, single-family sales were up 1.7% and condominiums sales were up 8.6% compared to last month. Single-family home sales were up 11.0% while condominium sales were up 6.8% compared to a year ago. Single-family homes had an increase in price up 11.7% at $315,000 and condominiums rose 7.8% at $273,300 from August 2019.

Line graph: Single Family vs. Condo Price Year-Over-Year Percent Change January 2019 to August 2020
Line graph: Single Family vs. Condo Price Month-Over-Month Percent Change, January 2019 to August 2020


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