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Home sales in the U.S. declined in June

Staff writer |
Existing-home sales in the U.S. declined in June but have stayed well above year-ago levels for the past two years, according to the National Association of Realtors.

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Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, town homes, condominiums and co-ops, dipped 1.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.08 million in June from a downwardly revised 5.14 million in May, but are 15.2 percent higher than the 4.41 million-unit level in June 2012.

According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.07 percent in June from 3.54 percent in May, and is the highest since October 2011 when it was also 4.07 percent; the rate was 3.68 percent in June 2012.

Total housing inventory at the end of June rose 1.9 percent to 2.19 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 5.2-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 5.0 months in May. Listed inventory remains 7.6 percent below a year ago, when there was a 6.4-month supply.

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $214,200 in June, up 13.5 percent from June 2012. This marks 16 consecutive months of year-over-year price increases, which last occurred from February 2005 to May 2006.

Distressed homes, foreclosures and short sales, were 15 percent of June sales, down from 18 percent in May, and are the lowest share since monthly tracking began in October 2008; they were 26 percent in June 2012. The decline in sales of distressed homes, which typically sell at a reduced price, accounts for some of the price growth.

Eight percent of June sales were foreclosures, and 7 percent were short sales. Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 16 percent below market value in June, while short sales were discounted 13 percent.


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