Existing home sales fall 2% as first-time buyers are priced out

The median price of an existing home sold in August was $356,700, an increase of 14.9% from August of 2020.

Sales of previously owned homes declined 2% in August from July to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 5.88 million units, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Sales were 1.5% lower than August 2020 for the first annual decline in 14 months. Sales, however, are still above pre-pandemic levels.

These numbers are a count of home closings and are based on contracts likely signed in June and July.

“The housing sector is clearly settling down,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the Realtors, who called last year’s super surge “an anomaly.”

The supply of homes for sale fell 1.5% month to month to 1.29 million at the end of August. Compared with August 2020, inventory is down 13%, but that comparison has been steadily shrinking for several months. At the current sales pace there was a 2.6-month supply.

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