Homes sold at the fastest pace in history in 2021

Homes are selling at a rate not seen since the late 1990s, with the average listing finding a buyer in just one week, according to a new report from the National Association of Realtors.

The research, which looks at home sales between July 2020 and June 2021, also shows that most sellers were able to receive their full asking price—with 35% of them getting more than they asked.

Home sellers reported selling their home for a median of $85,000 more than their purchase price, a notable increase from last year’s $66,000 gains.

More people were selling than ever too. The average home tenure, or the amount of time people stay in a home before selling, dropped from 10 years to eight years in that time frame, the largest year-over-year decline the group has ever seen.

“Home sellers have historically moved when something in their lives changed—a new baby, a marriage, a divorce, or a new job,” said Jessica Lautz, vice president of demographics and behavioral insights at NAR, in a statement. “The pandemic has impacted everyone, and for many this became an impetus to sell and make a housing trade.”

The number of homebuyers who were married was down to 60% (compared to 81% in 1985), but the NAR notes that the number of single women buyers has jumped to 19% (versus 15% in 2014).

While the data showcases the frenetic rate of the housing rush at its peak, it might not reflect the current market as accurately. The housing market is cooling down some after its historic run, in part because many would-be buyers have been priced out of the market.

In the past year, U.S. home prices are up 19.8%, but Fannie Mae predicts median home prices will rise just 7.9% between the fourth quarter of 2021 and the fourth quarter of 2022. And the Mortgage Bankers Association predicts a 2.5% year-over-year drop in home prices by the end of next year.

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