Existing home sales strong in July

Here’s one big news giving the markets a strong boost (as of this writing the Dow is up 1.5%):

Existing-home sales – including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – rose 7.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate1 of 5.24 million units in July from a level of 4.89 million in June, and are 5.0 percent above the 4.99 million-unit pace in July 2008.  The last time sales rose for four consecutive months was in June 2004, and the last time sales were higher than a year earlier was November 2005.

Other details:

  • This is the biggest monthly gain since ’99
  • 30-year conventional, fixed-rate mortgage has fallen to 5.22% from 5.42 in June and 6.43% last year
  • Distressed homes sales accounted for 31% of purchases
  • National median existing-home price for all housing types was $178,400 in July, 15.1 percent lower than July 2008
  • Single-family home sales increased 6.5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.61m in July from 4.33m in June
  • Median existing single-family home price was $178,300 in July, 14.6% below a year ago
  • Existing condominium and co-op sales jumped 12.5% to a SAAR of 630,000 units in July from 560,000 in June, and are 5.9% above the 595,000-unit level a year ago
  • Median existing condo price was $178,800 in July, down 18.9% from July 2008

Full report here.

Strength sustainable? Doubt it.

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