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Existing-Home Sales Retreat In August 2021

Navi Persaud
Sep 23, 2021
Photo of a home for sale in the suburbs.

The National Association of Realtors reported a 2% decline in existing-home sales on a seasonally adjusted rate from July to August 2021.

The 2% decline in existing-home sales in August averted from the two straight months of increases. The NAR adds that each of the four major U.S. regions reported declines on both a month-over-month and year-over-year basis. 

Total existing-home sales completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops, fell 2.0% from July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.88 million in August, according to the report. Year-over-year, sales dropped 1.5% from a year ago (5.97 million in August 2020).

“Sales slipped a bit in August as prices rose nationwide,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Although there was a decline in home purchases, potential buyers are out and about searching, but much more measured about their financial limits, and simply waiting for more inventory.”

Yun stated that while high home prices make for an unbalanced market, he expects prices to normalize with more supply. 

According to the NAR report, properties typically remained on the market for 17 days in August, unchanged from July and down from 22 days in August 2020. Eighty-seven percent of homes sold in August 2021 were on the market for less than a month.

First-time buyers made up 29% of sales in August, down from 30% in July and 33% in August 2020.

“Securing a home is still a major challenge for many prospective buyers,” said Yun. “A number of potential buyers have merely paused their search, but their desire and need for a home remain.”

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