Existing-home sales hit 6-year high in August

Existing-home sales were at their highest in six and a half years in August, rising 1.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million. Specifically, single-family home sales were up 1.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.84 million.

Despite the record numbers, National Association of Realtors chief economist Lawrence Yun cautioned that they may represent a temporary peak.

“Rising mortgage interest rates pushed more buyers to close deals, but monthly sales are likely to be uneven in the months ahead from several market frictions,” he said. “Tight inventory is limiting choices in many areas, higher mortgage interest rates mean affordability isn’t as favorable as it was, and restrictive mortgage lending standards are keeping some otherwise qualified buyers from completing a purchase.”

Meanwhile, NAR president Gary Thomas said rising home values may encourage more people to sell.

“As the equity position of most homeowners continues to improve, some who have been on the sidelines will list their home for sale,” he said. “Most of those owners also will be