Boosted by historically low mortgage rates, existing home sales, as reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), rebounded sharply in June, showing a strong sign of a market turnaround after three months of decline.
Total existing home sales, including single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, jumped 20.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.72 million in June, the largest monthly gain since 1968 when NAR began tracking the series. However, on a year-over-year basis, sales were still 11.3% lower than a year ago.
The first-time buyer share increased to 35% in June from 34% last month, and is about equal to 35% a year ago. The June inventory level rose to 1.57 million units from 1.55 million units in May and is down from 1.92 million units a year ago.
At the current sales rate, the June unsold inventory represents a 4.0-month supply, down from 4.8-month in May and 4.3-month a year ago.
Homes stayed on the market for an average of just 24 days in June, down from 26 days last month and 27 days a year ago. In June, 62% of homes sold were on the market for less than a month.
The June all-cash sales share was 16% of transactions, down from 17% last month and about equal to 16% a year ago.
Despite the recent fluctuation in sales, home prices remained strong. The June median sales price of all existing homes was $295,300, up 3.5% from a year ago, representing the 100th consecutive month of year-over-year increases. The median existing condominium/co-op price of $262,700 in June was up 1.4% from a year ago.
Regionally, all four regions saw month-over-month gains in existing home sales in June, ranging from 4.3% in the Northeast to 31.9% in the West. However, on a year-over-year basis, sales declined in all four regions, with the Northeast seeing the greatest drop (27.9%).
Despite the sharp gain in June, sales still remain below the pre-pandemic level. NAR expects the market continue to recover in the coming months as long as mortgage rates remain low and job gains continue. Meanwhile, tight inventory keeps pushing up home prices, which could be a bottleneck for future home sales. More listings and home construction are needed to meet the rising demand.