RE/MAX: July Home Sales Show Reversal of Pandemic Slowdown

Despite a limited supply of homes for sale across most metros in the U.S., July home sales continued a recent month-over-month incline, said RE/MAX, Denver.

The RE/MAX National Housing Report said July set a report record for most home sales in any month among the report’s 53 metro markets. Seven months into 2020, home sales are just 4.8% below 2019, compared to the end of May when the year-to-date total was 8.9% behind last year’s pace. The report said 2020 monthly sales have exceeded 2019 in four out of seven months thus far.

Leading the year-over-year sales percentage increase were Pittsburgh at 25.9%, Des Moines at 25.2% and Denver at 22.3%.

The report said sales prices rose everywhere except Honolulu, which saw a year-over-year decline by 4.0%. In July, the median of all 53 metros was $285,000, up 3.4% from June, and up 8.6% from a year ago. Twenty-two metro areas increased year-over-year by double-digit percentages, led by Birmingham, Ala. at 17.1%, Augusta, Maine at 14.1% and Indianapolis at 14.0%.

The report also said the scale appears to be tipped in the seller’s favor. In July, of the 53 metro areas surveyed, no metro areas reported a months’ supply at or more than six, which is typically considered a buyer’s market.

RE/MAX said the number of homes for sale in July fell by 6.2% from June and by 30.1% from a year ago.

“The sharp gain in home sales in July – which was the best month of home sales in our report’s history – is further evidence of housing’s remarkable recovery amidst the pandemic,” said RE/MAX Holding CEO Adam Contos. “Home sales typically peak in May or June, but this year we’re seeing an overlap of the spring and summer markets. And, as strong as July was, sales may have been even higher if inventory hadn’t been so tight.”

Contos said buyers appear to have returned to the market more quickly than sellers, likely spurred on by historically low interest rates and coronavirus-inspired lifestyle changes.

“Home is the center of life in 2020, and the pandemic has caused people to reconsider their living situations – especially with so many people working from home,” Contos said. “So far, buyers have shown they are willing to pay steadily increasing prices, so the months ahead could be very active, especially if more homeowners decide to jump in and sell.”