Existing-home sales increased in August, despite tight credit, appraisal problems, and the regional disruption of Hurricane Irene, according to the National Association of Realtors. Monthly gains were seen in all regions of the United States.
Total existing-home sales - completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops - rose 7.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.03 million in August from an upwardly revised 4.67 million in July, putting home sales as a rate 18.6% higher than the 4.24 million unit level in August 2010.
"Some of the improvement in August may result from sales that were delayed in preceding months, but favorable affordability conditions and rising rents are underlying motivations,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. "Investors were more active in absorbing foreclosed properties. In additional to bargain hunting, some investors are in the market to hedge against higher inflation.”
Total housing inventory at the end of August fell 3.0% to 3.58 million existing homes available for sale, about a 8.5-month supply at the current sales pace and down from a 9.5-month supply in July.
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