August Home Sales Soar to a Record High: 5 Top Housing Picks

The U.S. housing sector is on a roll, with an increasing number of Americans leveraging on the record-low mortgage rates. The latest pending home sales data for August reached the highest level on record as more Americans signed contracts to buy homes in the month, suggesting that the hot U.S. housing market will maintain the strong spell well into fall.

All-Time High Pending Home Sales

The National Association of Realtors or NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index — a forward looking indicator of home sales based on contact signing — soared 8.8% from July to 132.8 in August, hitting a record high, according to the NAR survey since January 2001. Contract signings are 24.2% higher from the year-ago period as well.

It is worth mentioning that August marks the fourth consecutive month of gains as well as the third year-over-year rise since the pandemic hit the housing market hard. All four

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U.S. pending home sales race to record high in August

FILE PHOTO: A home for sale sign hangs in front of a house in Oakton, on the day the National Association of Realtors issues its Pending Home Sales for February report, in Virginia March 27, 2014. REUTERS/Larry Downing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Contracts to buy U.S. previously owned homes surged to a record high in August, suggesting housing market activity was gathering speed amid record-low mortgage rates.

The National Association of Realtors said on Wednesday its Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed last month, jumped 8.8% to an all-time high of 132.8 last month. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast pending home contracts, which become sales after a month or two, rising 3.4% in August.

Pending home sales increased 24.2% from a year ago. The housing market has pressed ahead even as the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown millions out of work. The unemployment burden has fallen disproportionately on low-wage

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Pending home sales hit record in August

The number of homes under sales contract hit a record high in the National Association of Realtors’ 19-year history of monthly surveys.



a sign on the side of a building: Pending home sales hit record in August


© Getty Images
Pending home sales hit record in August

The number of pending homes increased 8.8 percent since July, and were up nearly a quarter since last August. The pending home sales index reached a high-water mark of 132.8, meaning sales were 32.8 percent higher than the index’s 2001 starting level of 100.

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“While I did very much expect the housing sector to be stable during the pandemic-induced economic shutdowns, I am pleasantly surprised to see the industry bounce back so strongly and so quickly,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.

Near zero interest rates from the Federal Reserve have helped push mortgage rates to record lows, which has helped fuel the buying spree.

“Tremendously low mortgage rates – below 3 percent – have again

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US pending home sales leap to record as housing-market surge continues

A ‘sale pending’ sign is displayed in front of a home for sale May 24, 2010 in San Rafael, California. Government incentives and low mortgage rates helped April home sales surge 7.6 percent in April, the biggest gain in five months.


  • The National Association of Realtors’ Pending Home Sales Index surged 8.8% last month to an all-time high of 132.8, signaling the US housing market’s rally continued into the fall.
  • Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected an increase of 3.1%.
  • The reading is the fourth-straight climb for the index. All four major US regions notched growth in August, with the West seeing the biggest improvement.
  • The pace of home sales rocketed through the summer as Americans leveraged record-low mortgage rates. The sector has served as a rare bright spot in the pandemic-rattled economy.
  • Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.

Record-low mortgage rates drove home sales

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Home Sales Contracts Hit Record With Low Rates Fueling Rally

(Bloomberg) — U.S. pending home sales rose more than expected in August, reaching the highest level on record as low mortgage rates fuel a housing rally.

The National Association of Realtors’ index of contract signings to buy previously owned homes surged 8.8% from a month earlier, according to data released Wednesday. Analysts had estimated 3.1%. Compared with 2019, pending sales jumped 24%.

“Tremendously low mortgage rates have again helped pending home sales climb,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.



chart: Pending home sales reach a record in data going back to 2001


© Bloomberg
Pending home sales reach a record in data going back to 2001

It was the fourth straight monthly gain for the index, which is now at the highest level in records dating back to 2001. The index has surged since taking a hit when the pandemic froze the housing market in March.

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Read more: U.S. Existing-Home Sales Increase to Fastest Pace Since 2006

Record-low mortgage rates have

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August pending home sales soar to a record high

A sale pending sign is posted in front of a home for sale in San Anselmo, California.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

Pending home sales rose 8.8% in August compared with July, reaching a record high pace, according to the National Association of Realtors survey, which dates back to January 2001.

Sales were 24.2% higher than August 2019.

These sales track signed contracts on existing homes, not closings, so they are an indicator of closed sales in the next one to two months.

“Tremendously low mortgage rates – below 3% – have again helped pending home sales climb in August,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Additionally, the Fed intends to hold short-term fed funds rates near 0% for the foreseeable future, which should, in the absence of inflationary pressure, keep mortgage rates low, and that will undoubtedly aid homebuyers continuing to enter the marketplace.”

Yun also noted that not

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US existing home sales approach 14-year high; prices scale record peak

WASHINGTON: US home sales surged to their highest level in nearly 14 years in August as the housing market continued to outperform the overall economy, but record high home prices could squeeze first-time buyers out of the market.

The report from the National Association of Realtors confirmed home sales had recovered after slumping when the economy almost ground to a halt as businesses were shuttered in mid-March in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Demand for housing is being fuelled by record-low mortgage rates and a pandemic-fuelled migration to suburbs and low-density areas in search of more spacious accommodation as many people work from home. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told a congressional panel on Tuesday that the economy has shown “marked improvement” since plunging into recession in February, though the path ahead remains uncertain.

“The housing market has continued its remarkable recovery amidst an otherwise

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US Housing Recovery Continues In August, New Home Sales Up 4.8%

New home sales were better than expected in the United States but the growth was not evenly distributed across regions


Olivier DOULIERY

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New US home sales came in well above forecasts in August with a 4.8 percent gain, as the housing market continues to recover from the coronavirus downturn, the Commerce Department said on Thursday.

August’s annualized rate of just over one million sales, seasonally adjusted, came after the upwardly revised annual rate of 965,000 sales reported in July and underscores how housing has managed to climb back from the hit taken during the Covid-19 downturn.

The growth was however not spread evenly, with month-on-month sales surging in the South 13.4 percent, and climbing 5.0 percent in the North, but declining slightly in the West and by a massive 21.4 percent in the Midwest.

“Home sales are well supported by solid demand and a favorable interest rate environment,”

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The 10 UK neighborhoods where home sales have doubled in 2020

  • UK home sales north of £1 million (or $1.3 million) were double what they were in 2019, according to a new Bloomberg report, citing property website Rightmove.
  • Wealthy buyers are flooding the market on a mission for more space amid the pandemic, and 10 UK markets in particular saw the biggest increases in sales.
  • Areas in the countryside are experiencing the highest demand, with Norfolk and Wiltshire seeing 244% and 174% spikes in sales, respectively. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

While the pandemic continues to drive volatility in the luxury real estate market across the US, some neighborhoods in the UK are feeling a different effect. 

In August, UK home sales north of £1 million (or $1.3 million) were double what they were in 2019, with wealthy buyers flooding the market on a mission for more space amid the pandemic, according to a new Bloomberg report. 

And million-pound

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Wilcon Depot rides on work from home trend to build up sales

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 25) — More Filipinos working from home meant more business for Wilcon Depot, as people embark on home improvement projects amid the pandemic.

Sales have zoomed since the home furnishing one-stop shop reopened after two months of lockdown, its founder and chairman emeritus William Belo disclosed. He is also the 19th richest in the country, according to Forbes.

“Actually, a blessing in disguise with all these lockdowns, people started working from home,” Belo told CNN Philippines’ Rico Hizon. “When you stay at home, you see a lot of things that you need to make changes on or improve. When we started opening again, business really picked up very, very well.”

He said all stores enjoyed a lift in sales ever since.

READ: 90% of employers say working remotely hasn’t hurt productivity

The rebound in sales was good enough for Wilcon to continue building new stores,

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