According to the National Association of Realtors® report last Friday, existing-home sales in 2020 surged to the highest level in 14 years, landing 22% higher than a year ago. Existing-home sales—completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops—posted big gains year over year and rose by 0.7% in December 2020 compared to November 2020’s already unseasonably high rates.
NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, said “This momentum is likely to carry into the new year, with more buyers expected to enter the market. Although mortgage rates are projected to increase, they will continue to hover near record lows at around 3%. Moreover, expect economic conditions to improve with additional stimulus forthcoming and vaccine distribution already underway.”
Existing-home sales in December 2020 reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.76 million. Still, home buyers are finding a limited number of homes for sale. Inventory levels are at record lows. That has placed continued pressure on home prices, which continue to post double-digit yearly gains.
The median existing-home price for all housing types in December 2020 was $309,800, up nearly 13% compared to December 2019, NAR reports. Every major region of the U.S. saw home prices rise last month.