- Existing home sales rose 3.2% between May and June to the highest rate in more than eight years, the National Association of Realtors reported Wednesday.
- The median price for existing homes was $236,400 — 6.5% higher than during June of 2014. That median price also reached the highest point since July 2006. The NAR attributes the rising prices to tight inventory.
- The length of time homes stayed on the market in June — at 34 days — fell to the smallest number since the NAR started tracking the figure. Total housing inventory at the end of June rose 0.9% to 2.30 million existing homes available for sale — 0.4% higher than during June of last year.
All major regions saw sales gains in June, according to the NAR. The results exceeded expectations, as economists had predicted existing home sales would inch up 0.9%. The NAR reported existing sales this year are on track to hit the largest gain in eight years.
The share of first-time homebuyers dropped to 30% from 32% in May, but that percentage remains above the share of first-time buyers in the market a year ago, at 28%.
NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun called the 2015 spring buying season one of the best since the housing crisis. "Buyers have come back in force, leading to the strongest past two months in sales since early 2007," he said. "This wave of demand is being fueled by a year-plus of steady job growth and an improving economy that's giving more households the financial wherewithal and incentive to buy."
Yun added that rising mortgage rates likely contributed to the bump in June sales, as buyers are choosing to take the leap into ownership rather than risk the chance that rates could continue to increase.
The existing home sale numbers will be followed up by new home sale results from the Commerce Department on Friday.