Existing-Home Sales Ease Following Gains

October 15, 2009

Source: NAR

Existing-home sales in August gave back some of their strong gain in July but remain above a year ago
levels, NAR says. Single-family, townhome, condominium, and co-op sales declined 2.7
percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.10 million units in August from a pace of 5.24
million in July, but remain 3.4 percent above the 4.93 million-unit level in August 2008. In the
previous four months, sales had risen 15.2 percent. "Home sales retrenched from a very strong
improvement in July but continue to be much higher than before the stimulus," says NAR Chief
Economist Lawrence Yun. "The first-time buyer tax credit is having the intended impact of
bringing buyers into the market, allowing them to take advantage of very favorable affordability
conditions. Some of the give-back in closed sales appears to result from rising numbers of
contracts entering the system, with some fallouts and a backlog contributing to a longer closing
process, but the decline demonstrates we can't take a housing rebound for granted." Watch and
link to Yun's press conference announcing the latest EHS numbers.

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