Existing home sales at 30-month low
August 23, 2006,
Washington — Sales of existing homes, which account for more than two-thirds of all housing activity, fell in July to its lowest level in more than two years, skidding down by 4.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6 .3 million units, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported. The rate is the lowest since January 2004.
Reflecting the lull in housing activity, the inventory of unsold houses rose 3.2% at the end of July to 3.9 million homes, a 7.3 month supply at the current rate of sales.
Looking for a silver lining, David Lereah, NAR chief economist, said higher interest rates had put a crimp in sales and applied dow nward pressure on home prices, "but that price- softening is good news for the housing market because it is drawing buyers."
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