U.S. existing home sales rise in August, prices up from year ago

WASHINGTON, Sept 19 Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:59am EDT

WASHINGTON, Sept 19 (Reuters) - The pace of U.S. home resales rose in August to its fastest in over two years and the price for sold homes climbed from a year earlier, hopeful signs that a budding housing market recovery is gaining traction.

The National Association of Realtors said on Wednesday that existing home sales increased 7.8 percent last month to an annual rate of 4.82 million units last month.

That was the fastest annual rate since May 2010 and well above analysts' expectations of a 4.55 million-unit rate.

Nationwide, the median price for a home resale rose to $187,400 in August, up 9.5 percent from a year earlier as fewer people sold their homes under distressed conditions.

The nation's inventory of homes - those for sale on the market - rose 2.9 percent during the month to 2.47 million.

"The housing market recovery is becoming much more convincing," said NAR economist Lawrence Yun.

The price increase is measured against August 2011, and since then distressed sales have fallen to 22 percent of total sales from 31 percent. Distressed sales also fell in August of this year compared to the prior month.

While the broader U.S. economy appears to be losing steam, housing has gained traction and has become a relative bright spot.

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Comments (1)
twodm wrote:
The Republicans are in the curious position of having to convince the
country that it is in terrible shape, but it is not their fault. In
fact, even though all the economic indicators are improving, Mitt has to argue that he could somehow do better, even though he would adopt the same terrible policies that W. did, which got us into this mess to begin with. But the Republicans can suspend belief on Taxes,Terrorism, Global Warming, Evolution, and a lot of other issues. So they are practiced in fairy tales, and some of them will believe it, but not enough to get Mitt elected.

Sep 19, 2012 11:38am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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