Washington, August 21, 2009
For the first time in five years, existing-home sales have increased for four months in a row, according to the National Association of RealtorsÃ‚Â®.
Existing-home sales Ã¢â‚¬â€œ including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops Ã¢â‚¬â€œ rose 7.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of 5.24 million units in July from a level of 4.89 million in June, and are 5.0 percent above the 4.99 million-unit pace in July 2008. Ã‚Â The last time sales rose for four consecutive months was in June 2004, and the last time sales were higher than a year earlier was November 2005.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said he is encouraged. Ã‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“The housing market has decisively turned for the better. Ã‚Â A combination of first-time buyers taking advantage of the housing stimulus tax credit and greatly improved affordability conditions are contributing to higher sales,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
The monthly sales gain was the largest on record for the total existing-home sales series dating back to 1999.