U.S. Home Sales Hike to 14-year Peak

The spread of the coronavirus emphasized the wisdom of staying at home.

Americans celebrated that feeling last year by changing their abode in record numbers.

Still, even the most avid buyers are bumping up against barriers in today’s housing market. Record low supply and record high prices are limiting the exceptionally high demand.

Closed sales of existing homes in December increased just 0.7% from November to a seasonally-adjusted annualized rate of 6.76 million units, according to the National Association of Realtors. Sales were 22% stronger than in December 2019.

As unexpected and disruptive as a global pandemic was, so too was the reaction of homebuyers. After plummeting in March and April, sales suddenly began to climb. Total year-end sales volume ended at 5.64 million units, the highest level since 2006 and far stronger than predicted before the pandemic. Buyers were driven by a desire for larger, suburban homes with dedicated spaces for working and schooling.