The American home-buying spree saw a record number of contract signings for home purchases in August.
The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that its index of pending sales rose 8.8 percent to a record high of 132.8. That is 24.2 percent above the August 2019 level.
An index of 100 represents the level of contract activity in 2001. It had sunk to a low of 69 in April, when buyers and sellers were sidelined as the coronavirus swept through the U.S. But the housing market has been on an explosive surge in the subsequent months as Americans sought more privacy and living space, increasingly work remotely, and fled from decaying cities beset by resurgent virus infections, lockdowns of cultural amenities such as museums and theaters, shuttered bars and restaurants, deteriorating finances, rioting, rising murder rates, and leftist politics.
Economists had been expecting just a 3.1 percent rise.