US existing-home sales jump in July

Reported by AAP
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Australia's richest and poorest postcodesOne pocket of Sydney's eastern suburbs earn close to nine times more than those who live in the country's poorest area.

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.

05/07/2015 06:40Sydney, Australia. 5 July,2015