Thursday, August 26, 2010

July Home Sales Down Yet Prices Edge Higher.

With the recent decline in pending sales reported a few weeks ago, it should come as no surprise that existing home sales would see a similar decline. According to the National Association Of Realtors existing home sales dropped 27 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.83 million units from 5.26 million in June, and they were 25 percent below the 5.14 million sold in 2009.

Since May, after the tax credit deadline, contract signings have been notably lower and a pause period for homes sales was likely. Yet given the historically low mortgage interest rates and high housing affordability conditions, the pace of a sales recovery cold pick up quickly, provided the unemployment numbers start to decline.

The median existing-home price was $182,600 in July, up 0.7 percent from a year ago. An estimated 3.98 million homes were available for sale at the end of July, representing a 12 month supply at the current sales pace, up from an 9 month supply in June.

Distressed sales accounted for 32 percent of transactions during the month. First-time buyers purchased 38 percent of existing homes in July, down from 43 percent a month ago, while investors accounted for 19 percent of sales in July, up from 13 percent the previous month.

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