Existing home sales roared back in August– posting a nearly 19% increase over existing home sales of August 2010. The data was released September 21st in a press release from the National Association of Realtors. This is surprising news in view of numerous analyst forecasts calling for a decline in sales. The results greatly exceeded the expectations of most industry experts.
“All year, the relationship between home prices, mortgage interest rates and family income has been hovering at historic highs, meaning the best housing affordability conditions in a generation,” stated NAR President Ron Phipps.
Key market factors, according to NAR Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, include ‘carry-over’ due to delays from previous months, affordability, investor activity and rising rents.
It was noted that in August:
- First-time buyers dominated the mix purchasing 32% of existing homes, up one point from August of 2010.
- REOs and Short Sales combined for 31% of sales.
- Investors accounted for 22% of purchase activity.
- The “all cash” transaction category remained flat at 29%.
- The Western region saw sales climb 18.3% with a 13% lower average sales price of $189,400.
NAR posted the press release and a spreadsheet showing local market data for 24 major MSAs and the national averages on the Realtor.org website.