July Pending Home Sales Jump Over 15% Annually, as Properties Go Under Contract in Record Time

29103 NE Lookout Rd Camas, WA 98607
Presented by Martiné Gibbons | Offered at $4,950,000 | MLS# 20190459

From cnbc.com

Homebuyers continue to show strong demand and prove that there isn’t a summer slowdown despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the National Association of Realtors, pending home sales, which measure signed contracts to purchase existing homes, increased 5.9% in July compared with June, and sales were 15.5% higher annually.

NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said, “Home sellers are seeing their homes go under contract in record time, with nine new contracts for every 10 new listings.”

Yun does not expect sales to drop or become slower this fall season. He anticipates existing-home sales to reach 5.8 million in the second half of this year. This would then bring the full-year total to 5.4 million, showing a 1.1% increase compared with 2019.

Based on NAR’s index, the housing market activities from pent-up demand is in good shape. Pending home sales in the Northeast rose 25.2% for the month and were up 20.6% from a year ago. In the Midwest, sales rose 3.3% monthly and 15.4% annually. Sales in the South increased by 0.9% for the month and were up 14.9% from July 2019. Sales in the West rose 6.8% monthly and 13.2% annually.

“Anecdotally, Realtors are telling me there is no shortage of clients or home seekers, but that scarce inventory remains a problem,” Yun said. “If 20% more homes were on the market, we would have 20% more sales, because demand is that high.”

July sales of newly built homes, which are also measured by signed contracts, surged dramatically, as buyers are now looking for new, high-tech, smart homes with floor plans designed for working and schooling at home. Builders are also benefiting from the severe shortage of existing homes for sale.

Full article cnbc.com


Existing-Home Sales Surge 24.7% as Prices Soar to Record

910 Northshore Rd, Lake Oswego, OR 97034
Presented by Matt Tercek | Offered at $4,595,000 | MLS# 20019782

From newsmax.com

U.S. home sales increased for the second straight month in July and home prices also hit a record as low-interest rates increased the demand for homes even if the coronavirus pandemic put millions of people out of work.

According to the National Association of Realtors, existing-home sales rose by 24.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.86 million units last month. Data for June was revised slightly to a 4.70 million-unit pace from the originally reported 4.72 million.

July’s rise was the second consecutive increase, followed soon after a monthly increase in June, and raised the sales pace above the 5.76 million pace in February before the pandemic caused a momentary drop in sales. July’s level was the highest since December 2006.

“The housing market is well past the recovery phase and is now booming with higher home sales compared to the pre-pandemic days,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “With the sizable shift in remote work, current homeowners are looking for larger homes and this will lead to a secondary level of demand even into 2021.”

Economists surveyed by Reuters had projected sales rising 14.7% to a rate of 5.38 million units in July.

Existing home sales, which make up about 85% of U.S. home sales, increased 8.7% on a year-on-year basis in July.

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate is at an average of 2.99%, hovering near levels last seen in the early 1970s, according to data from mortgage finance agency Freddie Mac. Data earlier this week showed homebuilding surge by the most in nearly four years in July.

Housing has been a bright spot in the economy even as other sectors suffer amid widespread coronavirus infections that have slowed commerce and kept unemployment high. More than 28 million people were collecting jobless benefits at the end of July.

The pandemic steered the economy into recession in February, ending a record-long expansion that had brought U.S. unemployment to a 50-year low.

Home sales rose in all four regions in June.

There were 1.5 million previously owned homes on the market in July, down 21.1% from a year ago. The median existing house price increased 8.5% from a year ago to a record of $304,100 in July.

At July’s sales pace, it would take 3.1 months to exhaust the current inventory, down from 4.2 months a year ago. A six-to-seven-month supply is viewed as a healthy balance between supply and demand.

Full details on newsmax.com


Contract Signings Make a ‘Remarkable’ Move

5203 54th Ct SE Salem, OR 97317
Presented by Hamid Karimi | Offered at $2,350,000 | MLS# 20682329

From Realtor Magazine

Pending home sales continued to increase rapidly for the second consecutive month in June despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on the Pending Home Sales Index from the National Association of REALTORS®, an increase was seen in the month-over-month contract signings from each of the four major regions in the U.S. as home buyers rushed out to purchase homes across the country.

NAR’s index shows that contract signings increased by 6.3% compared to a year ago.

NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said that the contract activity for home purchases is higher compared to a year ago is quite surprising and remarkable considering that we are all amid a global pandemic. Consumers are taking opportunities from the record-low mortgage rates resulting from the Federal Reserve’s maximum liquidity monetary policy.

NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index jumped 16.6% month over month in June to a reading of 116.1.

See snapshot of housing report below:

Yun also said that the strong bounce-back comes after a longer lockdown in the Northeast region. The South, on the other hand, has consistently outperformed the rest of the country. And these remarkable rebounds equate to exceedingly a higher buyer demand.

Upbeat Forecasts for 2020 and Beyond

Because of the recent turnaround in contract signings, NARs adjusted its overall housing forecast. For 2020, NAR is now projecting existing-home sales to decrease by only 3%, with sales increasing to 5.6 million by Q4. New-home sales are projected to increase by 3% this year.

Yun is auspicious that positive GDP growth of 4% in 2021 will drive, on both existing and new, higher home sales. He forecasts existing-home sales to increase by 7% in 2021 and new-home sales to increase by 16%.

Home prices are also projected to increase by 4% in 2020. Yun predicts prices will moderate in 2021 but still increase by 3% as more supply is expected to hit the market.

Low financing costs are expected to continue to attract home buyers. NAR predicts that mortgage rates will stay at or near 3% over the next 18 months.

Full details on Realtor Magazine