LoanDepot Inc. founder and CEO Anthony Hsieh argued Monday that the housing market went from "sizzling" to "hot" as fresh data revealed sales of existing homes rose in July. The uptick is in sharp contrast to the months of decline due to increased home prices amid limited supply and a surge of demand as many people moved from cities to suburbs during the coronavirus pandemic.
"We’re on pace in this country to sell seven million homes this year, which is the all-time high since the financial crisis, which is still very, very good," Hsieh told "Cavuto: Coast to Coast" on Monday.
Hsieh provided the insight shortly after new data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed existing home sales rose by two percent on a seasonally adjusted annual rate in July from June, marking two straight months of increases.
The association noted that existing home sales grew to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.99 million in July. Analysts with Refinitiv were expecting a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.83 million units in July. Had the price of previously owned homes slipped, like analysts had been anticipating, it would have been the fifth month in the last six of declining sales as home prices soar.
The median existing-home sales price rose at a year-over-year pace of 17.8 percent and inventory of unsold homes increased 7.3 percent to 1.32 million from June to July, according to the data released on Monday.
Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, attributed home sales growth to inventory "beginning to tick up," which he argued "will lessen the intensity of multiple offers."
"Much of the home sales growth is still occurring in the upper-end markets, while the mid- to lower-tier areas aren't seeing as much growth because there are still too few starter homes available," Yun noted.
The median price for an existing home in the U.S. dropped to $359,900 in July after hitting a record high of $363,300 in June, which was up 23.4 percent from the year before and broke the previous record set the month prior, according to NAR data. The median price for existing homes in July was up 17.8 percent from July 2020, which marked 113 consecutive months of year-over-year increases, according to the association.
Host Neil Cavuto asked Hsieh what he believes is in store for the housing market in the near future.
Hsieh indicated that the housing market is "going in the right direction," but some buyers are still apprehensive about entering the market because of "the slight increase in interest rates" and "the 18 or 19 percent appreciation in real estate year-over-year."
Hsieh stressed that those two factors are prompting some buyers to stay on the sidelines and evaluate whether this is the right time to jump in.
"We also need to realize we are at the end of the buying season a bit," Hsieh told Cavuto, adding that the recent surge of coronavirus cases brought on by the Delta variant.
He noted that, given the rise in cases, "it’d be really interesting to see whether or not this is a temporary stall or whether it’s going to get back to sizzling hot again, but nevertheless, the market is still very strong."
FOX Business’ Charles Brady contributed to this report.