Existing-Home Sales Hit 15-Year High in 2021
New York, NY, January 21, 2022-U.S. home sales surged to a 15-year high in 2021, powered by low borrowing rates and an intense buyer demand that are expected to keep the market hot during the first months of 2022, reports the Wall Street Journal.
“But the recent rapid rise in interest rates has some housing economists forecasting that the market frenzy will subside in the second half of the year.
“Existing-home sales rose 8.5% from a year earlier to 6.12 million, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday. Home prices grew at a record pace across the country last year.
“Homes also sold also faster than ever. Many went under contract within a week of going on the market, compelling buyers to make snap decisions about one of their biggest life purchases.
“Low mortgage rates in 2021 increased housing demand from all types of buyers, including first-time homeowners, luxury vacation-home buyers and investors. Many households saved more money during the pandemic and benefited from a rising stock market. Employees who could work remotely were willing to live farther from their offices. A large generation of millennials is entering their early and mid-30s, which are common home-buying years.
“All these factors point to strong momentum going into 2022, housing economists say.
“‘I think this first quarter is going to be exceptionally frenzied in the housing market,’ said Jeff Tucker, senior economist at Zillow Group Inc. With limited inventory for sale and borrowing rates going up, he added, ‘I think a lot of buyers are feeling a sense of urgency.’”