WASHINGTON, Sept 19 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