The housing market continues to be one of the strongest sectors of the U.S. economy, despite and perhaps even because of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic lockdowns, the Wall Street Journal reports. Home sales have not just recovered from the pandemic. They have, in fact, soared to the highest rate recorded in 14 years.
The National Association of Realtors stated that home sales figures for September of this year are up 9.4% from August and over 20% from September of last year. This is a continuation of a trend seen in sales for the past four months. Such sustained and steady growth shows that residential real estate is in a very good position nationally.
Home inventory is currently very low, struggling to keep up with record demand. As lockdowns and concerns over the coronavirus continue, work and education are moving online. Accordingly, families are looking for more space to do learn and work remotely, and moving out of city centers into the suburbs. Many people are not going to return to school or the office anytime soon, so this is likely to continue through the Fall season, where sales are typically more sluggish.
The median price on existing homes is also up significantly from the same period last year to $311,800. In metro areas around the country, homes are being bought up within weeks or even days of going on the market. Sales on the West Coast and in the Northeast are outpacing the overall growth nationally.
The increase in home sales is a good sign for both construction and retail, economists say. Development is rising to meet the historic demand. As new home buyers enter the market, the sale of home goods is improving as well. Together with a gradually improving job market, residential real estate seems to point forward to a more general economic recovery on the horizon.