Existing home sales rose in July; median price hits new high

Sales of previously occupied U.S. homes rose in July for the second month in a row, though they only increased modestly from a year ago, suggesting the red-hot housing market may be cooling off a little.

Existing homes sales rose 2% last month from June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.99 million units, the National Association of Realtors said today. That’s higher than the 5.82 million annual rate economists were expecting, according to FactSet.

Sales rose only 1.5% from July last year. By comparison, sales in June jumped about 23% from a year earlier, when many states were still locked down due to the pandemic.

The median U.S. home price climbed 17.8% from a year ago to $359,900, an all-time high, as sales of higher-end homes helped skew prices higher.

At the end of July, the inventory of unsold homes stood at 1.32 million homes for sale, up 7.3% from the prior month, but down 12% from July last year. At the current sales pace, that amounts to a 2.6-month supply, the NAR said.