Sales of existing homes grow by almost 25% in July

Home sales grew in July, signaling how much the pandemic is adapting to where and how Americans want to live in this period of social distance and work from home.

Buyers of homes that were restless in March and April when a large part of the country was under siege have returned since late spring. With the effects of coronavirus showing small signs of diminishing, many homebuyers have new priorities for a place to live, as they accelerate existing plans.

Buyers are ready to travel farther from cities, now that many workers do not commute every day. The pandemic has encouraged some households to live closer to family, than somewhere that offers more space with so much time spent at home, say brokers and economists.

“People who were in error were looking for townhomes, and people in townhomes were looking for single-family homes,” said Bob Chew, a group leader at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty in Ellicott City, Md. “People are at home, and the more time they spend in the house, they realize, ‘I want to have some different functions in my house.’ ”

The July sales numbers were one of the strongest the housing market has ever seen. Sales of former homes jumped 24.7% from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $ 5.86 million, according to the National Association of Realtors on Friday. That was the strongest monthly profit ever recorded, back to 1968. It was also the highest selling point since December 2006.