Friday, October 24th1.9°C
23711
22501

US home sales increase 2.6 per cent in June to 5.04 million, fastest pace in 8 months

WASHINGTON - Sales of previously owned homes rose for a third straight month in June, pushing activity to the highest level in eight months and providing evidence that housing is regaining lost momentum.

The National Association of Realtors said Tuesday that sales of existing homes increased 2.6 per cent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million homes. It marked the first time that sales have been above the 5 million-mark since October.

Even with the three months of increases, however, sales were still 2.3 per cent below the sales rate in June of last year.

Sales peaked in July last year and then lost momentum as mortgage rates rose from extremely low levels. Sales were further hurt by an unusually severe winter.

After peaking at 5.38 million units last July, sales had been falling as mortgage rates climbed from historic lows after then-Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke indicated in June that the central bank could begin trimming its monthly bond purchases later in the year.

The Fed did start reducing the bond purchases in December but mortgage rates have actually retreated as financial markets realized the Fed intended a gradual reduction of the long-interest rate support it has been providing the economy. Rates on 30-year mortgages stood at 4.12 per cent last week.

The median price of a home sold in June was $223,300, up 4.3 per cent from a year ago.

For June, sales were up in every region of the country, led by a 6.2 per cent increase in the Midwest and a 3.2 per cent rise in the Northeast. Sales rose 2.7 per cent in the West and edged up a slight 0.5 per cent in the South.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen, delivering the central bank's twice-a-year economic report to Congress last week, described housing activity this year as disappointing, an indication that the central bank is still concerned about the performance of this key sector of the economy.

Potential buyers have grappled with a limited supply of homes that is driving prices higher. Lending standards have also been tightened in response to the housing boom of the last decade, when financial institutions granted too many mortgages to home buyers who were unable to meet the monthly payments, resulting in millions of foreclosures.

Five years into the recovery from the deep recession that was triggered in part by the collapse in housing, home sales have yet to return to historic averages. The pace for sales this year is below the 5.1 million homes sold last year and the 5.5 million annual sales that would be consistent with a healthy housing market.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

23433


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX14486.83+174.76
S&P CDNX808.600.60
DJIA16677.90216.58
Nasdaq4452.792+69.945
S&P 5001950.82+23.71
CDN Dollar0.8913+0.0009
Gold1232.50+3.40
Oil81.14-0.61
Lumber334.10+4.50
Natural Gas3.601-0.021

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.11-0.01
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.17+0.02
Cantex0.0550.00
Anavex Life Sciences0.1980.00
Metalex Ventures0.04-0.01
Russel Metals33.16+0.63
Copper Mountain Mining2.08-0.02
Colorado Resources0.14-0.005
ReliaBrand Inc0.013+0.001
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.05-0.01
Mission Ready Services0.41+0.005

 



22625

FEATURED Property
17728996 2493 Casa Palmero Drive
1 bedrooms 2 baths
$599,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Weakening global growth worries

The Big Picture Growth worries persist Worries about weakening global growth and its potential impact on the US economic recovery roiled markets around the globe this week. Europe continues to be the ...


Keep it rubber side down

This time of year, I always worry about which friends of mine will get caught going off the road in adverse weather conditions. With a little preparation most accidents can be avoided. Having won the...


Big bank predicts rate hike

Photo: Thinkstock.comThe end of record-low rates is nigh, according to one major bank, which has taken a stance and predicted when the Bank of Canada will raise its long-standing overnight rate. &ldq...

_








Member of BC Press Council


22620