Existing home sales have been on a bit of an upswing of late, climbing in both June and July thanks to modest increases in available inventory. That trend reversed itself in August.
According to a new report from the National Association of Realtors, existing home sales declined 2% in August from July. August’s weakening in existing home sales ends a streak of two straight months of increases. Those two months of increases were rare bright spots as they followed four months in a row where sales fell.
And in August, sales fell again, with each of the four major regions of the U.S. seeing declines.
"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."
Unfortunately, those waiting for more inventory didn’t find it in August. According to NAR’s report, total housing inventory at the end of August was 1.29 million units, which is down 1.5% from July and down 13.4% from August 2020.
On the positive side, the median sales price for an existing home sale continued to decline in August, falling from $359,900 in July to $356,700 in August. This is the second month in a row that the median sales price has fallen. In July, house prices declined from June’s all-time record high of $363,300.
According to NAR’s report, properties sold in August typically remained on the market for 17 days, the same amount of time as it was in July. Beyond that, 87% of homes sold in August 2021 were on the market for less than a month.