Existing-home sales continued to improve in August, according to the National Association of Realtors.
"The housing market is steadily recovering with consistent increases in both home sales and median prices,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “More buyers are taking advantage of excellent housing affordability conditions.”
The NAR’s tally shows existing-home sales in August increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.82 million, up 7.8% from 4.47 million in July. Compared with a year ago, the rate of sales is up 9.3%.
Total existing-home sales are defined as completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops.
Also from the NAR report, the national median price rose on a year-over-year basis for the sixth straight month. The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $187,400 in August, up 9.5% from a year ago.
The last time there were six back-to-back monthly price increases from a year earlier was from December 2005 to May 2006.
Yun added that markets in the West and Florida are experiencing inventory shortages, pushing home prices up.
NAR President Moe Veissi , broker-owner of Veissi & Associates Inc., in Miami, said some buyers are involuntarily sidelined. "Total sales this year will be 8% to 10% above 2011, but some buyers are frustrated with mortgage availability. If most of the financially qualified buyers could obtain financing, home sales would be about 10% to 15% stronger, and the related economic activity would create several hundred thousand jobs over the period of a year."