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July Existing-Home Sales Show Gains

Existing-home sales, including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 3.1 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.00 million units from June but were 13.2 percent lower than the 5.76 million units estimated in July 2007, NAR reported this morning. The sales increase was the highest in five months, although sales have hovered in a narrow range over the past 11 months.

The national median sale price of existing homes was $212,400 in July, down 7.1 percent compared to a year ago when the median was $228,600. Housing supply rose 3.9 percent to 4.67 million existing homes available for sale at the end of July, which represents an 11.2-month supply at the current sales pace. NAR says the increase in supply may be due to an increase in condo inventory while the supply of single-family homes declined.

Three of the four regions saw improvement. Existing-home sales climbed 9.7 percent in the West in July to 1.13 million units and are 0.9 percent higher than a year ago. The median price in the West was $273,200, down 22.2 percent from July 2007.

In the Northeast, home sales rose 5.9 percent to 900,000 units in July, 11.8 percent below a year ago, while the median price was $278,700, which is 4.9 percent lower than July 2007.
In the Midwest, existing-home sales increased 0.9 percent to 1.12 million units in July, 17 percent below the estimate from July 2007. The median price in the Midwest was $175,400, up 1.0 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the South slipped 0.5 percent to 1.85 million units in July and are 18.1 percent below a year ago. The median price in the South was $179,300, down 3.5 percent from July 2007.

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