Mortgage Daily

Published On: July 22, 2014

Sales of existing homes climbed to the highest pace in eight months, though weak economic conditions are keeping activity from being more vigorous.

Last month, existing home sales accelerated to an annual rate of 5.04 million units on a seasonally adjusted basis.

It was the first time since October of last year that the annual pace of U.S. home sales has surpassed 5 million.

The statistics were released Tuesday by the National Association of Realtors.

May’s numbers were revised up to 4.91 million.

“Inventories are at their highest level in over a year and price gains have slowed to much more welcoming levels in many parts of the country,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun stated in the report. “This bodes well for rising home sales in the upcoming months as consumers are provided with more choices.”

Sales would have been even stronger if it weren’t for stagnant wage growth, Yun explained.

But activity has slowed compared to June 2013, when the annual rate was 5.16 million.

Single-family home sales increased to an annual rate of 4.43 million in June from 4.32 million a month earlier but fell short of 4.56 million a year earlier.

It took a median time of 44 days to market a home, faster than 47 days the prior month and the sixth consecutive month of improvement.

But the process has slowed from 37 days in June 2013.

The NAR reported that the total housing inventory was 2.30 million as of the end of June, a 2.2 percent increase. That put the supply of existing homes for sale at 5.5 months, the same as May.

In June 2013, there were 2.16 million homes for sale.

The median existing-home price for all housing types in June was $223,300, up 4.3 percent from a year earlier.

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