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US existing-home sales jump in July

Reported by AAP
Thursday, August 22, 2013
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Sales of previously owned US homes jumped in July despite rising mortgage interest rates, with prices continuing to post year-on-year double-digit gains.

In an industry report released on Wednesday, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said existing-home sales surged 6.5 per cent higher to an annual rate of 5.39 million units in July, from a downwardly revised 5.06 million in June.

The robust July pace was stronger than analysts expected; the average estimate was for a 5.10 million unit pace.

In a fresh sign of the recovery under way in the housing market, existing-home sales were up 17.2 per cent from July 2012, the 25th month that sales have remained above the year-ago levels.

Tight inventory helped to keep prices rising at an unusually fast pace, the NAR said.

Nationwide, the median existing-home price was $US213,500 ($A236,900) in July, up 13.7 per cent from a year ago.

Although total inventory of homes for sale rose 5.6 per cent by the end of July, the sales pace kept the inventory at a 5.1-month supply, unchanged from June.

"Tight inventory in many areas means above-normal price growth for the foreseeable future," NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement.

02/09/2014 09:24Sydney, Australia. 2 September,2014
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