Sales of existing homes in 2020 reached their highest level since 2006, the National Association of Realtors reports.

Overall existing home sales totaled 5.64 million in 2020, a 5.6% increase compared with 2019. NAR expects the momentum to carry into 2021.

December existing home sales grew 0.7% from November and 22.2% compared with December 2019. Year-over-year, December existing home sales climbed 27.4% in the Northeast, 26.2% in the Midwest, 20.7% in the South and 14.9% in the West.

The median existing home sales price surged 12.9% compared with 2019 to $309,800.

Housing inventory dropped 16.4% from November to 1.07 million, a 23% decline compared with December 2019. Unsold inventory reached an all-time low 1.9-month supply at the current sales pace. 

“To their credit, homebuilders and construction companies have increased efforts to build, with housing starts hitting an annual rate of near 1.7 million in December, with more focus on single-family homes,” NAR’s Lawrence Yun said in a statement. “However, it will take vigorous new home construction in 2021 and in 2022 to adequately furnish the market to properly meet the demand.”

The full NAR report can be found here.