Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

July 2021 Existing-Home Sales Rise With the Aid of More Supply

NAR released a summary of existing-home sales data showing that housing market activity this July inclined 2.0% from June 2021. July’s existing-home sales reached a 5.99 million seasonally adjusted annual rate. July’s sales of existing homes inclined 1.5% from July 2020.

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

The national median existing-home price for all housing types rose to $359,900 in July, up 17.8% percent from a year ago. Home prices have continued to rise, and this marks the 113th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.

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

Regionally, all four regions showed double digit price growth from a year ago. The Northeast had the largest gain of 23.6% followed by the South with an increase of 14.4 %. The Midwest showed an increase of 13.1% and the West had the smallest price gain of 12.5% from July 2020.

July’s inventory increased 7.3% from last month standing at 1.32 million homes for sale indicating some easing of the tight inventory conditions. However, compared with July of 2020, inventory levels are 12.0% lower. This would mark 26 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. 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, July 2020 to July 2021

From June 2021, all four regions had increases in sales, except the Northeast where sales were flat.  The Midwest had the biggest gain of 3.8% followed by the West with an increase of 3.3%. The South region had the smallest increase in sales of 1.2%.

Compared to a year ago, two of the four regions showed increases in sales, except the West where the sales were flat. The Northeast region had the largest gain of 12.1% followed by the South with an increase of 1.2%. The Midwest was the only region with a decline of 1.4%.  

The South led all regions in percentage of national sales, accounting for 43.9% 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, July 2021 and July 2020

In July, single-family sales increased 2.7% and condominiums sales were down 2.7 compared to last month. Single-family home sales were down 0.8% while condominium sales were up 22.4% compared to a year ago reflecting the impact of the pandemic lockdown. The median sales price of single-family homes rose to 18.6% at $367,000 from July 2020, while the median sales price of condominiums rose 14.1% at $307,100.

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