Stewart Blog Article

Existing Home Sales a Fluttering Leaf - August 2021

Published on: September 27, 2021


Current existing home sales numbers hover in the best range in 14 years, but weakened slightly in August 2021.  The current pace is akin to a fluttering leaf oscillating from left to right and right to left but in a gentle downward track.  There are no surprises here given escalating home prices, eroding affordability and limited inventory.

Existing Home Sales August 2021 – National Association of Realtors® (NAR)

As of August 2021

  • Seasonally Adjusted Annualized Sales Numbers (SAAR)
    • 5.880 million SAAR as of August 2021
    • down 2.0 percent sequentially from July 2021
    • down 1.5 percent year-over-year
  • Monthly Sales – raw data not seasonally adjusted
    • 576,000 for the month of August 2021
    • down 1.4 percent versus the 584,000 sales in July 2021
    • up 2.9 percent versus the 560,000 sales in August 2020
  • Sales Trailing 12-Months – raw data not seasonally adjusted
    • 6.199 million for the 12-months ending August 2021 – raw data not seasonally adjusted
    • up 0.3 percent vs 12-months ending July 2021 of 6.183 million
    • up 18.6 percent vs 12-months ending August 2020 of 5.227 million

Sales Year-to-Date – raw data not seasonally adjusted

  • Median Price – August 2021
    • $356,700 – not seasonally adjusted
    • up 14.9 percent vs $310,400 recorded in August 2020
  • Average Price – August 2021
    • $376,000 – not seasonally adjusted
    • up 9.8 percent vs $342,300 recorded in August 2020

Single-Family Sales by Price and Median Days on the Market Prior to an Accepted Purchase Contract – sample data not seasonally adjusted.  Primary reason that sales priced $250,000 and less are down because there is almost nothing left for sale due to minimal inventory

Months Inventory – with 6.0 months inventory considered normal on an historical perspective – Seasonally Adjusted



Other Details Included in the NAR Release

  • Median price has risen 114 consecutive months on a year-over-year basis
  • Inventory dipped 1.5 percent from July 2021 to August 2021 to 1.29 million active listings, down 13.4 percent from the 1.49 million listings available in August 2020
  • Months Inventory at the end of August 2021 was 2.6 months (not seasonally adjusted), down from 3.0 months as of August 2020
  • Typical property was on the market 17 days prior to an accepted purchase contract, unchanged from the prior month but down from 22 days 1-year ago
  • 87 percent of homes closed in August 2021 were on the market less than one month before going under contract
  • 1st time homebuyers accounted for 29 percent of August closings, down from 33 percent one-year ago.  No doubt, eroding affordability will continue to negatively impact 1st-time homebuyers ability to access the great American dream given rising prices and potential gains in interest rates
  • Investors purchased 15 percent of all existing home sales in August 2021 unchanged from July 2021 but up slightly from 14 percent 1-year ago
  • Buyers paid all-cash (no mortgage loan involved) in one-in-five closings (22%) up from 18 percent one-year ago
  • Distressed sales – foreclosures and short sales -- made up less than 1 percent of August 2021 transactions unchanged from the prior month & year-over-year

To read the entire NAR press release and access the underlying data click

Housing continues to have among the greatest intrinsic value in our lifetimes as we have spent more time than ever at home. Where we have lived since the onset of the pandemic has and continues to impact our lifestyle and quality of life. Unfortunately, this pandemic is not yet over.