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ECON: Existing Sales Highest in 6.5 Years- NAR
Posted to: Micro News
Thursday, September 19, 2013 10:20 AM
- 5.48 mln unit annual rate vs 5.25 forecast
- Highest since 2/2007
- Median prices $212,100 + 14.7 pct from last year
- Median price rise is strongest since Oct 2005
- Distressed sales account for lowest percentage of total since records began in 2008.
Existing-home sales increased in August and reached the highest level in six-and-a-half years, while the median price shows nine consecutive months of double-digit year-over-year increases, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
Total existing-home sales1, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, rose 1.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million in August from 5.39 million in July, and are 13.2 percent higher than the 4.84 million-unit level in August 2012.
Sales are at the highest pace since February 2007, when they hit 5.79 million, and have remained above year-ago levels for the past 26 months.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the market may be experiencing a temporary peak. “Rising mortgage interest rates pushed more buyers to close deals, but monthly sales are likely to be uneven in the months ahead from several market frictions,” he said. “Tight inventory is limiting choices in many areas, higher mortgage interest rates mean affordability isn’t as favorable as it was, and restrictive mortgage lending standards are keeping some otherwise qualified buyers from completing a purchase.”
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