Some Good News in the Housing Market

Bloomberg News reports sales of previously owned homes rose to 7.7 percent in August, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Sales of existing single-family homes rose to their highest level since January, rising 8.5 percent to a seasonally-adjusted rate of 4.47 million. The August figures compare to the peak of 7.05 million sold in 2005 before the housing market boom imploded into a downturn. Societe General Economist Brian Jones says, “Housing’s been down for so long, we should take whatever good news we can get. Interest rates are low and pricing is attractive and people are responding.” 31 percent of the transactions in August were distressed sales, and 29 percent were cash sales. The stock of pre-existing homes dropped three percent to 3.58 million. Regionally, the West saw the biggest increase in purchases, climbing 18 percent, followed by 5.4 percent in the South, 3.8 percent in the Midwest, and 2.7 percent in the Northeast.

(photo credit: Seth Perlman)

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