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NAR update on Home Sales - Down (but not all!)

For more information, contact:

Walter Molony 202/383-1177 wmolony@realtors.org

Existing-Home Sales Down In June

Washington, July 24, 2008


"Existing-home sales – including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – fell 2.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of 4.86 million units in June from a pace of 4.99 million in May, and are 15.5 percent lower than the 5.75 million-unit rate in June 2007."

"NAR President Richard F. Gaylord, a broker with RE/MAX Real Estate Specialists in Long Beach, Calif., said there is something of a quandary in the current market. “A recent online survey of Realtors® shows...

...nearly a quarter of potential home buyers are waiting on the sidelines,” he said. “However, timing the market can be very tricky, which is why home buyers should always have a long-term view to build wealth.”

The NAR (www.realtor.org) article went on to explain that first-time home buyers were sitting it out for a bit. However, Congress is working on a housing stimulus package that includes asking for permanent increased mortgage loan limits, enhancement to the FHA loan program and a potential first-time buyer tax credit.

Information about existing home price data is still skewed nationwide because of the impact of short sales and foreclosures accounting for nearly one-third of all transactions!

Also, areas with higher concentrations of condos vs single family homes can show the condos costing more than the single family homes even when most condos in most cities actually cost less.

Areas with rising existing home sales include Bakersfield and Oakland, CA, Las Vegas, Orlando and even Phoenix is starting to pick up.

Areas still declining in sales include Atlanta, Houston and Kansas City MO even though they have affordable home prices and good local employment conditions.

According to NAR, existing-home sales for July will be released August 25, and the next Forecast/Pending Home Sales Index is scheduled for August 7.

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