Existing home sales rise sharply in June

For sale sign with sky in background

The sale of existing homes appears to be poised for recovery. After seeing sales decline month after month this past winter, they have taken a positive turn.

For the first time in more than five years, sales have risen for three straight months. In June they were up 3.6% to seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 4.89 million units, the highest level since October. Revised sales in May totaled 4.72 million units.

That's a vast improvement from January, when sales of single-family houses, town homes, condominiums and co-ops, fell to 4.49 million.

Distressed home sales accounted for only 31% of sales. Just last winter, sales of foreclosures and short sales, which drag down median sales prices, accounted for close to 50% of total sales.

The median sales price price now stands at $181,800, which has fallen 15.4% over the last 12 months.

Inventories of single-family homes fell 0.7% in June to 3.82 million units, which represents a 9.4-month supply.

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