Total existing-home sales rose 7.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.82 million in August, according to new data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Last month's sales were also 9.3% higher than the 4.41 million-unit level in August 2011.
The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $187,400 in August, up 9.5% from a year ago. The last time there were six back-to-back monthly price increases from a year earlier was from December 2005 to May 2006, according to NAR.Â The August increase was the strongest since January 2006 when the median price rose 10.2% from a year earlier.
Distressed homes accounted for 22% of August sales – 12% were foreclosures and 10% were short sales. This is down from 24% in July and 31% in August 2011. Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 19% below market value in August, while short sales were discounted 13%.
Total housing inventory at the end of August rose 2.9% to 2.47 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 6.1-month supply at the current sales pace, down from a 6.4-month supply in July. Listed inventory is 18.2% below a year ago when there was an 8.2-month supply.
The median time on market was 70 days in August, consistent with 69 days in July but down 23.9% from 92 days in August 2011. Thirty-two percent of homes sold in August were on the market for less than a month, while 19% were on the market for six months or longer.