The dream of many American families of owning a home is getting further out of reach in Biden’s America, even while the sales of the most expensive homes continue to climb.
The median U.S. home price is up 23.4 percent from a year ago to a record $363,300, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday. Sales of homes priced over $1 million were up 146.7 percent compared with a year ago.
At the end of June, the inventory of unsold homes stood at just 1.25 million homes for sale, down 18.8 percent from a year ago. At the current sales pace, that amounts to a 2.6 months’ supply, the NAR said. While still very low it indicates that supply is no longer contracting.
“Supply has modestly improved in recent months due to more housing starts and existing homeowners listing their homes, all of which has resulted in an uptick in sales,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Home sales continue to run at a pace above the rate seen before the pandemic.”
And sales of single-family U.S. homes rose 1.4 percent last month from May to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.14 million. Compared with a year ago, sales of single family homes were up 24.4 percent. The median existing single-family home price was $370,600 in June, up 24.4 percent from June 2020.
Total existing-home sales—including single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops—also grew 1.4 percent from May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.86 million in June. Sales climbed 22.9 percent from a year ago.
Economists were expecting that sales increased to an annual rate of 5.90 million, according to Econoday.
Home sales have been slowing as soaring prices and a limited number of available homes on the market have discouraged many would-be buyers. That is acting as a kind of dead-man’s brake on the housing market. Homes sold in June received four offers on average, down from five the previous month, Yun said. Properties typically remain on the market for 17 days, unchanged from a month ago and down from 24 days a year ago.
“At a broad level, home prices are in no danger of a decline due to tight inventory conditions, but I do expect prices to appreciate at a slower pace by the end of the year,” Yun said. “Ideally, the costs for a home would rise roughly in line with income growth, which is likely to happen in 2022 as more listings and new construction become available.”
First-time buyers accounted for 31 percent of sales in June, also even with May but down from 35 percent in June 2020.
—The Associated Press contributed to this report.