By Nicole Friedman 

Sales of previously owned homes in the U.S. rose to a new 14-year high in September while robust demand and a shortage of homes for sale pushed house prices higher.

Existing-home sales rose 9.4% in September from August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.54 million, the highest rate since May 2006, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday. The September sales marked a 20.9% increase from a year earlier.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected a 6.2% monthly increase in sales of previously owned homes, which make up most of the housing market.

"Home prices are simply rising too fast due to insufficient supply and very strong demand," said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist.

A very limited supply of homes for sale, especially in lower price tiers, pushed prices to new highs. The median existing-home price rose 14.8% from a year earlier to $311,800, a record high nominally and adjusted for inflation, NAR said.

Write to Nicole Friedman at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 22, 2020 10:20 ET (14:20 GMT)

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