#home #sales #economy #recovery #virus
US existing home sales rose to their highest mark in nearly 14 yrs in August as the housing market continued to outperform the overall economy.
The report from the National Association of Realtors confirmed home sales had recovered after slumping when the economy almost ground to a halt as businesses were shuttered in mid-March in an effort to slow the spread of the China virus.
Demand for housing is being driven by record-low mortgage rates and a virus chaos-fueled migration to suburbs and low-density areas in search of more spacious accommodation as many people work from home.
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell told a congressional panel Tuesday that the economy has shown “marked improvement” since diving into the instant recession in February.
Existing home sales increased 2.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6 -M units last month, the highest level since December 2006. August’s increase in homes sales, which marked 3 months running of gainers, was in line with economists’ expectations.
The median existing house price jumped 11.4% from a year ago to a record $310,600 in August. Sales last month were concentrated in the $250,000 to $1-M and over price range, with transactions below the $250,000 price down sharply.
Existing home sales, which account for the bulk of US home sales, jumped 10.5% on a Y-Y basis in August.
“According to a recent report coronavirus cases may be on the rise in some parts of the country, but that has not stopped Americans from looking for homes to buy. And increasingly, those homes are in the suburbs.
“A new study from Realtor.com found that Americans are showing a more pronounced interest suburban and rural areas as the housing market recovers from pandemic-induced shutdowns. Views of online home listings in May 2020 on Realtor.com grew by 13% compared to May 2019 for suburban ZIP codes, roughly double the rate of urban areas, researchers found.
“In my opinion as we get closer to an actual Covid-19 vaccine becoming a reality, we should further see suburban home buying to be matched with more stabilization and a return to grow in the metropolitan market as well because the fear of the pandemic will be of lesser concern,” says real estate expert Bruce WD Barren, Chairman of The EMCO/ Hanover Group.
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