Saturday, September 21, 2013

home sales on the rise?

Existing home sales increased last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million homes. That equates to a 1.7% increase over July and a 13.2% jump over the same month last year. It's the highest level in six and a half years.

While many analysts and commentators had feared that the recent rise in interest rates would weigh on the housing recovery, it now seems as if the trend had an opposite effect. "Rising mortgage interest rates pushed more buyers to close deals," said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist.

The news was similarly upbeat when it came to home prices. According to the trade association's data, the national median existing home price for all housing types was $212,100 in August. That equates to a 14.7% increase on a year-over-year basis and was the strongest such gain since October of 2005, when the median rose by 16.6%.

August marked the 18th consecutive month of year-over-year price increases, and the ninth month in a row that they shot up by double-digits.

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yeah, but what about new home sales?

New home sales plunged 13.4% in July, in one of the first signs that higher mortgage rates may be cutting into home demand.

Sales fell to a seasonally adjusted rate of 394,000 a year, from 497,000 in June, the Census Bureau reported Friday. Analysts' consensus estimate was 487,000.

Sales were 6.8% higher than last July.

The median price was $257,200, up from $249,700 last month, and there were 171,000 homes for sale at the end of July, representing a five-month supply at the current sales pace, Census said.

The report was concerning because sales fell even though more homes were for sale, said Jed Kolko, chief economist at real-estate Web site Trulia.com. Previously, new home sales have stayed well short of pre-recession highs because of a shortage of homes on the market.

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