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Existing home sales drop, prices ease
Existing home sales fell in August following two consecutive months of increases, while once-soaring prices eased, according to a new report from the National Association of Realtors.
Home sales dropped compared to both July and a year earlier, the realtors group said in Wednesday's report. Sales of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops collectively dropped 2 percent from July to an annual rate of 5.88 million units.
Last month's sales were down 1.5 percent compared to August 2020, a reversal from the previous month when sales were 16 percent higher than July 2020.
Meanwhile, the median price of existing homes rose by 14.9 percent year-over-year, climbing to $356,700 compared to $310,400 in August 2020. The Associated Press noted this is still a decline from the 25 percent increases reported earlier this year.
At the end of August, the total housing inventory had dropped 1.5 percent from July to 1.29 million units, a 13.4 percent drop compared to one year ago.
"So, clearly home sales are settling down, but above pre-pandemic conditions," Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
However, the market is still hot, creating hurdles for many prospective buyers.
In August 2020, the average time properties remained on the market was 22 days, while last month the average was 17 days.
"Securing a home is still a major challenge for many prospective buyers," Yun said in Wednesday's news release. "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."