August 21, 2009

Existing home sales rose in July

Sales of existing U.S. homes increased for the fourth consecutive month in July, the National Association of Realtors said Friday.

Sales of single-family homes, town homes, condominiums and co-ops rose to a rate of 5.24 million units in the month, compared to a revised figure of 4.89 million in June. Sales were 5 percent higher than July 2008, the association said.

The housing market has decisively turned for the better. A combination of first-time buyers taking advantage of the housing stimulus tax credit and greatly improved affordability conditions are contributing to higher sales, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement.

Sales jumped 13.4 percent in the Northeast,10.9 percent in the Midwest and 7.1 percent in the South. Sales in the West slipped 1.7 percent in July.