Still, prices remain high enough to keep some potential buyers from a hot housing market. The report from the National Association of Realtors on Wednesday showed the smallest share of first-time homebuyers in more than 2-1/2 years and houses continuing to be snapped up typically after only 17 days on the market.
“The recent moderation in existing home sales reflects some easing of the buying frenzy that carried over into early 2021,” said Mark Vitner, a senior economist at Wells Fargo in Charlotte North Carolina. “The frantic race for space sent prices soaring. We continue to expect the housing market to move back into balance over the next couple of years.”
Existing home sales dropped 2.0% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.88 million units last month. Sales fell in all four regions, with the densely populated South posting a 3.0% decline. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast sales would decline to a rate of 5.89 million units in August.