The National Association of REALTORS announced today that existing home sales during the month of July rose by 6.5% compared to June and also saw a 17.2% increase year over year.
According to the NAR, existing home sales were up from a downwardly revised figure of 5.06 million in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million last month. In July 2012, existing home sales sold at a pace of 4.60 million. This is the 25th consecutive month that sales have improved year over year.
Mortgage rates were also on the upswing. A 30-year conventional fixed-rate mortgage went from 4.07% in June to 4.37% in July — its highest level in three years, according to Freddie Mac. Home prices continued to increase, with the median price for existing homes for last month being at $213,500, which was 13.7% higher than the previous July. It was the 17th straight month in which home prices were higher than they were 12 months ago, the NAR says.
The NAR says that, while housing affordability will be an issue because of higher mortgage rates and home prices, the housing market will continue this trend thanks to improvements in the job market and the possibility of looser lending requirements as the result of a drop in delinquency rates.