Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

August 2021 Existing-Home Sales Decline and Home Price Appreciation Slows

NAR released a summary of existing-home sales data showing that housing market activity this August declined 2.0% from July 2021. August's existing-home sales reached a 5.88 million seasonally adjusted annual rate. August's sales of existing homes weakened 1.5% from August 2020.

Line graph: U.S. Existing-Home Sales, August 2020 to August 2021

The national median existing-home price for all housing types rose to $356,700 in August, up 14.9% from a year ago. Home prices have continued to rise, and this marks the 114th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.

Bar chart: U.S. and Regional Median Sales Price of Existing-Home Sales, August 2021 and August 2020

Regionally, all four regions showed double-digit price growth from a year ago. The Northeast had the largest gain of 16.8%, followed by the South with an increase of 12.8%. The West showed an increase of 11.4%, and the Midwest had the smallest price gain of 10.5% from August 2020.

August's inventory declined 1.5% from last month, standing at 1.29 million homes for sale, falling from the previous two months of gains. Compared with August of 2020, inventory levels are 13.4% lower. This would mark 27 straight months of year-over-year declines. It will take 2.6 months to move the current level of inventory at the current sales pace, well below the desired pace of 6 months.

Demand remains strong as home buyers are snatching listings quickly off the MLS and it takes approximately 17 days for a home to go from listing to a contract in the current housing market. A year ago, it took 22 days.

Bar chart: Inventory, August 2020 to August 2021

From July 2021, all four regions had declines in sales. The South had the biggest dip of 3.0%. The Northeast and the Midwest both had a fall of 1.4%, followed by the West with the smallest decline in sales of 0.8%.

From a year ago, all of the four regions weakened in sales. The Northeast region had the largest decline of 2.7%, followed by the Midwest with a dip of 2.1%. The West fell 1.6%, followed by the South with the smallest decline of 0.8%.

The South led all regions in percentage of national sales, accounting for 43.4% of the total, while the Northeast had the smallest share at 12.4%.

Bar chart: Regional Existing-Home Sales and Year-Over-Year Percent Change, August 2021 and August 2020

In August, single-family sales decreased 1.9% and condominiums sales were down 2.8% compared to last month. Single-family home sales were down 2.8%, while condominium sales were up 9.5% compared to a year ago. The median sales price of single-family homes rose to 15.6% at $363,800 from August 2020, while the median sales price of condominiums rose 10.8% at $302,800.

Line graph: Single-family vs Condo Sales Month-Over-Month Percent Change, February 2019 to August 2021
Line graph: Single-family vs Condo Price Year-Over-Year Percent Change, January 2019 to August 2021

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