Existing home sales, prices rise in July

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported existing-home sales rose 2.3 percent in July.

By Amy McIntosh, Assistant Editor | August 22, 2012

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported existing-home sales rose 2.3 percent in July. Total existing-homes sales grew to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.47 million, from 4.37 million in June.

“Mortgage interest rates have been at record lows this year while rents have been rising at faster rates.  Combined, these factors are helping to unleash a pent-up demand,” Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said.  “However, the market is constrained by unnecessarily tight lending standards and shrinking inventory supplies, so housing could easily be much stronger without these abnormal frictions.”

The national median price of a new home sold in July was $187,000, up 9.4 percent from 2011.

“Fewer sales in the lower price ranges are contributing to stronger increases in the median price, but all of the home price measures now are showing positive movement and that is building confidence in the market,” Yun said. “Furthermore, the higher median price naturally means more housing contribution to economic growth.”

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