Re-sales of homes in the United States beat analyst predictions last month. Information released Wednesday by the National Association of Realtors revealed sales of previously-owned homes edged up 2.5% in July, as mortgage rates offset the affordability crunch caused by high home prices at the margins.
Existing home sales occurred at a 5.42 million seasonally-adjusted annual pace, up from a revised 5.29 million in June. Compared with a year ago, sales were 0.6% higher. Economists had expected an average annual rate of 5.40 million.
Average interest rates on 30-year mortgages have fallen to 3.60%, the lowest in nearly three years. Cheaper borrowing costs have enabled sales to rise 0.6% from a year ago, ending 16 consecutive months of annual sales declines.
The low rates are providing a boost to a housing sector where affordability remains an obstacle for many would-be buyers. Home prices have risen fastest for the bottom half of the market since 2012, making it harder to save for a down payment or manage monthly payments at a higher mortgage rate.
Moreover, NAR said, the median sales price increased 4.3% from the prior-year to $280,800. While the rate of home price appreciations has slowed considerably this year, prices continue to rise thanks largely to the constrained inventory of homes for sale.
Latest posts by Ivy Heffernan (see all)
- Black Panther 2 Released Date Confirmed For 2020 - August 25, 2019
- First Gun Shot Is Fired as New Weapons Enter Hong Kong Protests - August 25, 2019
- Barcelona Beach Evacuation After a Bomb From The Spanish Civil War Is Found - August 25, 2019