According the National Association of Realtors (NAR), U.S. home sales rose to a 17-month high in the month of August, up 1.3% from the previous month. In addition, total existing home sales, which represents completed transactions on single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops increased to a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 5.49 million, which was a gain of 2.6% above last year’s rate.
The increase in existing home sales appears to be directly tied to low mortgage rates that buyer’s have experienced throughout the summer. Leading the way were first-time home buyers, which comprised 31% of sales in August. In addition to the increase in home sales, the median price for an existing home is also on the rise. According to NAR, the median price for an existing home was $278,000 in August, a gain from last August’s average of $265,600, which marks an impressive 90th straight month of year-over-year gains.