Existing home sales increased last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million homes. That equates to a 1.7% increase over July and a 13.2% jump over the same month last year. It's the highest level in six and a half years.
While many analysts and commentators had feared that the recent rise in interest rates
would weigh on the housing recovery, it now seems as if the trend had
an opposite effect. "Rising mortgage interest rates pushed more buyers
to close deals," said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist.
The news was similarly upbeat when it came to home prices. According
to the trade association's data, the national median existing home
price for all housing types was $212,100 in August. That equates to a
14.7% increase on a year-over-year basis and was the strongest such gain
since October of 2005, when the median rose by 16.6%.
August marked the 18th consecutive month of year-over-year price
increases, and the ninth month in a row that they shot up by
yeah, but what about new home sales?
New home sales plunged 13.4% in July, in one of the first signs that higher mortgage rates may be cutting into home demand.
fell to a seasonally adjusted rate of 394,000 a year, from 497,000 in
June, the Census Bureau reported Friday. Analysts' consensus estimate
Sales were 6.8% higher than last July.
median price was $257,200, up from $249,700 last month, and there were
171,000 homes for sale at the end of July, representing a five-month
supply at the current sales pace, Census said.
The report was
concerning because sales fell even though more homes were for sale, said
Jed Kolko, chief economist at real-estate Web site Trulia.com.
Previously, new home sales have stayed well short of pre-recession highs
because of a shortage of homes on the market.