The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Home prices reach record high

Price jumps are a reflection of high demand and limited inventory. (Elaine Thompson/AP)
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The median sales price for an existing home reached a record level of $304,100 in July, going above $300,000 for the first time in history, according to the National Association of Realtors. July’s median sales price increase was the 101st month of gains when comparing year-over-year prices.

Price jumps are a reflection of high demand and limited inventory, with the number of homes sold increasing nearly 25 percent in July over June and nearly 9 percent when comparing July 2020 with July 2019, the NAR report said.

Sellers are confident they can find buyers, particularly when there is little competition from other sellers. According to Realtor.com’s Weekly Housing Trends report, median listing prices gained 10.1 percent when comparing the week ending Aug. 15 with that same week last year. That is the fastest pace of price growth since January 2018.

Smart moves for home sellers in the market now or on the sidelines during the pandemic

The number of homes for sale during the week ending Aug. 15 was 36 percent fewer than that same week in 2019, according to Realtor.com. In addition, the Realtor.com report shows that homes sold four days faster during that week in 2020 than the same week in 2019.

Realtor.com’s Housing Market Recovery Index generates a number based on online search traffic for homes, median list prices, new listings and the median time on the market and then compares that number to 100. That number is the January 2020 baseline for market trends before the pandemic. The higher the market recovery number, the more a market has recovered.

The Las Vegas market, with an index of 126, has recovered the most. The Washington, D.C., market, with an index of 112, is ninth on the list of markets that have recovered the most for the week ending Aug. 15. Other markets among the top 10 with the highest recovery numbers include Seattle; New York; Boston; Philadelphia; Portland, Ore.; Denver; Los Angeles; and San Jose.

The typical profit made by homeowners when they sold their home rose to an average of 36 percent return on investment compared to their original purchase price, according to the second quarter 2020 U.S. Home Sales Report by ATTOM Data Solutions.

The typical profit margin nationwide was $75,971 during the second quarter of 2020, the ATTOM report said, and was an increase over the typical profit during the first quarter of 2020 and an increase over the second quarter of 2019 because of rising home values.

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