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UPDATE:Existing home sales advanced to their highest level since 2010, new data from the National Association of Realtors shows.
The pace of sales jumped 7.8 per cent in August to an annual pace of 4.82 million units, eclipsing expectations for a more modest 2.0 per cent gain.
“The housing market is steadily recovering with consistent increases in both home sales and median prices,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says. “More buyers are taking advantage of excellent housing affordability conditions.”
Median home prices also increased, up 9.5 per cent from the year ago period to $187,400.
The inventory of homes for sale rose 2.9 per cent to 2.47 million units, representing a 6.1 month supply. That’s sharply below the 8.2 month supply logged in August 2011 and an improvement from July’s 6.4 month backlog.
Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast rose 8.6 per cent to an annual pace of 630,000 in August and are also 8.6 per cent above August 2011. The median price in the Northeast was $245,200, up 0.6 per cent from a year ago.
Existing-home sales in the Midwest increased 7.7 per cent in August to a level of 1.12 million and are 17.9 per cent higher than a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $152,400, up 7.8 per cent from August 2011.
In the South, existing-home sales rose 7.3 per cent to an annual pace of 1.90 million in August and are 11.1 per cent above August 2011. The median price in the region was $160,100, up 6.5 per cent from a year ago.
Existing-home sales in the West increased 8.3 per cent to an annual level of 1.17 million in August but are unchanged from a year ago. With ongoing inventory shortages, the median price in the West was $242,000, which is 16.3 per cent higher than August 2011.
Minutes away from the final major economic announcement of the day: existing home sales.
Economists surveyed by Bloomberg forecast sales advanced 2.0 per cent to an annual run rate of 4.56 million units in August.
The report follows a somewhat tepid morning for housing data, when housing starts hit the second highest level since 2008 but missed economists’ loftier projections.
The announcement is scheduled for 10:00 a.m.
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