The economy may be on life support due to COVID-19, but housing sales across the nation soared in June, according to a report released Wednesday from the National Association of Realtors. It found that housing sales jumped about 20% nationwide compared to sales in May – the largest single-month recovery since the organization began collecting data.
The bump was caused by the reopening of the economy and mortgage rates that dipped below 3%.
"We've never seen mortgage rates this low," said Gay Cororaton, the association's director of housing and commercial research. "That's really making a home affordable."
Low mortgage rates mean a family could pay about $1,000 a month for a median-priced house – $295,300 – with 20% down, Cororaton said. This helped drive a small uptick in first-time homebuyers in June.
Cororaton also noted a reduction in investment buyers.
"They're concerned about renters' ability to meet the rent payment," she said. "Investment buyers and second-home buyers made up just 9% of the market this June compared to 15% last month."
Cororaton warns that the market may slow down in July as cases of COVID-19 surge and some states reenter partial lockdowns. The market is still down 11% compared to housing sales in June 2019.
This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Montana, KUNC in Colorado, KUNM in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.