Flight from the Cities: Existing Home Sales Soar Nearly 21%

Written by John Carney | Published by Breitbart on July 22, 2020

Existing-home sales exploded higher in June as home buyers took advantage of record-low mortgage rates and fled city centers beset with anti-police protests, riots, looting, crime, shootings, stay-at-home orders, shuttered businesses, closed schools, and a loss of amenities such as restaurants, theaters, and museums.

Total existing-home sales rose 20.7 percent from May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.72 million, the largest monthly increase ever, data from the National Association of Realtor showed Wednesday. Sales fell in each of the previous three months due to the ongoing pandemic and lockdown rules that made showing homes in person difficult and sometimes impossible.

Each of the four major regions achieved month-over-month growth, with the West experiencing the greatest sales recovery.

“The sales recovery is strong, as buyers were eager to purchase homes and properties that they had been eyeing during the shutdown,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “This revitalization looks to be sustainable for many months ahead as long as mortgage rates remain low and job gains continue.”

The shutdown may have led to some pent up demand, leading sales higher. In addition, many city-dwellers now see suburban life more attractive because so many cities have shutdown restaurants, bars, theaters, museums, and other cultural and commercial amenities that made urban life desirable. Parents are also seeking out school districts where schools may open full-time rather than continue the virtual learning that marked the end of the last school year and seems likely for many city schools this fall.

The stay-at-home orders also highlighted the confining features of apartment life. A house with a yard and more square feet is all the more valuable for families forced out of public spaces. What’s more, the riots, looting, a rise in shootings, and anti-police protests have brought renewed attention to crime and other dangers of city life.

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