Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

October 2020 Existing Home Sales Climb to 6.85 Million

NAR released a summary of existing-home sales data showing that housing market activity this October increased 4.3% from September 2020. October’s existing home sales reached a 6.85 million seasonally adjusted annual rate. October’s sales of existing homes jumped 26.6% from October 2019.

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

The national median existing-home price for all housing types rose to $313,000 in October, up 15.5 % percent from a year ago.  The median price has reached another all-time high. This would be the strongest pace since October 2005. Home prices have continued to escalate, and this marks the 104th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.

Bar chart: Sales Price of EHS, October 2020 and October 2019

Regionally, all four regions showed double digit price growth from a year ago. The Northeast had the largest gain of 20.2% followed by the Midwest with an incline of 16.7%. The South showed an increase of 15.7% and the West had the smallest price gain of 15.1% from October 2019.

October’s inventory figures fell 2.7% from last month standing at 1.42 million homes for sale. Compared with October of 2019, inventory levels dropped 19.8%. This would mark 17 straight months of year over year declines. It will take 2.5 months to move the current level of inventory at the current sales pace.

It takes approximately 21 days for a home to go from listing to a contract in the current housing market. A year ago, it took 36 days.  

Bar chart: Inventory, October 2019 to October 2020

From September 2020, all of the four had gains in sales. The Midwest led all regions with a gain of 8.6% followed by the Northeast with an incline of 4.7%. The South had an increase of 3.2% and the West had a gain of 1.4%.

From a year ago, all four regions showed inclines in sales. The Northeast region had the largest gain of 30.4%. The Midwest had an increase in sales of 28.1% followed by the South with a rise of 26.5%. The West had the smallest gain of 22.8%.

The South led all regions in percentage of national sales, accounting for 42.5% of the total, while the Northeast had the smallest share at 13.1%.

Bar chart: Regional Existing Home Sales and Year Over Year Percent Change, October 2020 and October 2019

In October, single-family sales were up 4.1% and condominiums sales were up 5.8% compared to last month. Single-family home sales were up 26.7% while condominium sales were up 25.9% compared to a year ago. Single-family homes had an increase in price up 16.0% at $317,700 and condominiums rose 10.3% at $273,600 from October 2019.

Line graph: Single Family vs Condo Sales Month Over Month Percent Change, January 2019 to October 2020
Line graph: Single Family vs Condo Price Year Over Year Percent Change, January 2019 to October 2020