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Existing Home Sales, Prices Show Strong Rise in August
Sep 20, 2012
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Sales of existing homes in the United States climbed again in August 2012, even as prices rose for the sixth month running, according to the National Association of Realtors.

The August price increase was the biggest since January 2006, when the price rose 10.2% year-on-year.

Total existing-home sales (which include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops) were up 7.8% in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.82 million, from 4.47 million in July. Sales were up 9.3% from the 4.41 million unit rate in August 2011.

"The housing market is steadily recovering with consistent increases in both home sales and median prices," said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. "More buyers are taking advantage of excellent housing affordability conditions. Inventories in many parts of the country are broadly balanced, favoring neither sellers nor buyers."

Freddie Mac said the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage was 3.60% in August, up from the record low 3.55% in July 2012. The August 2011 rate was 4.27%.

"The strengthening housing market is occurring even with difficult mortgage qualifying conditions, which is testament to the sizable stored-up housing demand that accumulated in the past five years," Yun added.

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