Sales of existing home increased strongly in July and median home prices are now nearing their pre-crash peak National Association of Realtors® (NAR) said today. Sales in July rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million units. This represented an increase of 6.5 percent from the revised (from 5.08 million) estimate for June of 5.06 million. The July figure was 17.2 percent above the level of sales in July 2012 and July was the 25th month in which existing sales were up from those of the previous year. Existing home sales are completed transactions that include single-family houses, townhomes, condominiums and coops.

Despite higher mortgage interest rates, Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist, identified compensating factors that can sustain a continued recovery.  “Although housing affordability conditions will become less attractive, jobs are being added to the economy, and mortgage underwriting standards should normalize over time from current stringent conditions as default rates fall.”

Home Sales Statistics 

Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast surged 12.7 percent to an annual rate of 710,000 in July and are 20.3 percent above July 2012.  The median price in the Northeast was $271,200, up 6.7 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the Midwest rose 5.8 percent in July to a pace of 1.28 million, and are 20.8 percent higher than a year ago.  The median price in the Midwest was $168,300, which is 9.5 percent above July 2012.

In the South, existing-home sales increased 5.0 percent to an annual level of 2.11 million in July and are 16.6 percent above July 2012.  The median price in the South was $183,400, up 13.6 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West rose 6.6 percent to a pace of 1.29 million in July and are 13.2 percent higher than a year ago.  The median price in the West, driven the most by a supply imbalance, was $287,500, which is 19.2 percent above July 2012.