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National Housing Market Setting Records

The pandemic’s effect on the real estate market has been quite the opposite of what many experts feared at the start of the outbreak — as inventory dwindled, home prices and sales both soared in 2020.

According to the latest numbers from Redfin, the national median home sale price rose 14 percent year over year to $330,500 while the number of sales rose by 20 percent in 2020. Such high home price growth has not been observed since 2013, when it was 14.5 percent at its highest in July, while sales numbers are not far from the year long high set last October at 25 percent.

Despite widespread unemployment and uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, record-low inventory is the primary driving force behind this type of ultra-competitive market. New listings are down 17 percent from December and 6 percent year over year, while active listings (the number of all homes for sale in a given month) were down 24 percent in 2020.

The median home for sale stays on the market for 34 days (down from 57 at this time last year), while the months of supply is at a historically low 1.6 percent.

Boston real estate

Boston real estate

The U.S. housing market is setting records despite a pandemic.

Home Sales Grew by 24.7%

The number of existing home sales across the country grew by 24.7 percent to 5.86 million last month compared to the 4.72 million homes sold in June, according to a new report from the National Association of Realtors.

Month’s sales set a new record in month-over-month growth and represents the 101st consecutive month of reported gains. 

July also saw the first time the median home price exceeded $300,000. The median price last month was $304,100, up 8.5 percent year-over-year from $280,400. 

According to National Association of Realtors:

“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 statement.

Yun attributed the changes to homebuyers now working from home looking for larger homes, adding that he expects the trend to continue into 2021.

Housing Inventory

Total housing inventory dropped to 1.5 million last month, down 2.6 percent from 1.57 million in June.

Just over two-thirds of homes sold last month were on the market for under a month and all-cash deals accounted for 16 percent of sales. Distressed sales represented less than 1 percent of July transactions.

Mortgage rates hit record lows last month. The average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage in July was 3.02 percent, according to Freddie Mac.

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